I saw the glimmer in your eyes as you told me my favorite writer had died months ago. His obit only appearing in the New York Times after death. William Gay, you’ll live on in my mind, just like all those ghosts that continue to haunt us.
The boy who told me – I can’t remember his face. Only the smug in his eyes and corners of his lips as he twisted the news into my gut. My bewilderment must’ve excited him to no end.
Gay’s passing leads me to other significant deaths in my life. All my loves – Lucille Clifton, William Gay, Jane Kenyon, Donald Hall – are dying. Bryon, you too were gone in an instant. Would my phone call have made any difference? Remember when I made you wash your “raven’s wing” hair for the first time in a year?
You stumbled on those train tracks with certainty. The green fairy beckoned and you followed her to the point of no return. The only question I have left is – were you sleeping before the roar of the train and the lights?
And even now, footing remains slippery in this realm. We cannot be sure of anything, but for these demigods passing through, more exists beyond this place. I’ll be happy to transition to some worthwhile form, like dirt.