Thursday, February 25, 2010

A ghost of last breath

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The Last Woman I Fall In Love With


may be named Jeremy. He will work
in the hospital they brought me to and
be a paragon of caring and procedural
execution. He will tend to me beyond
the end of my luxurious discomfiture.

Or her name might be Connie. She’ll
be ordinary among ordinary, yet I
will find her unsurpassingly beautiful.
I will have unnoticed her on a thousand
streets and a thousand subway seats.

Only now will I recognize her as my
tending angel. I will want to sit with
her over coffee and talk in detail about
the new curtains she hung in her living
room that match the blue seat cushions.

She will know the purpose of every
tube, be adept in filtered needles and
dispensing of pain medication. She will
take me back to the bliss of my youth
a hundred times and never know.

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I will fall in love with her in the last
hour, marry and have three kids. We
will have a wooded house in Ohio,
a cabin in the San Juans, and a yurt
somewhere far up in the Blue Ridge.

The last woman I fall in love with
will see me through to the other side.
She’ll set the coins to settle up with
the ferryman, unplug the machines,
notate her clipboard, and call for the doctor.

When they return, it will be the most
embarrassing moment of my life. They
will check some signs, say some words,
note a time in the chart, and douse the light.
My love will lie hidden in a ghost of last breath.

Joseph Gallo
February 25, 2010


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For my father on the day of his birth and who passed away in May 2005. And for all of us who have lost and will lose fathers.

4 Comments:

Blogger Kyle parried...

You are going beyond the path, into the woods where the real work of poetry takes place. Dasein, the way of life. Well done. Hurts like hell, huh?

February 25, 2010 9:27 PM  
Blogger Joseph Gallo parried...

Dasein: being-there/there-being; the human entity in Time.
I seem to remember this term from way back, but had not heard it 'til now, so thanks for that reference.

As far as into the woods---it's the only way we know, isn't it? Besides, it's where all our grandmothers live. ;-)

And yes, that ache of missing hurts in a good way, in the way of life, as it's supposed to.

Thanks once again for your singular insight, Kyle. You always leave with more than I came with. :-)

February 27, 2010 8:05 AM  
Blogger miamizsun parried...

Joseph, your work is always moving, and your gift with words is the closest thing to magical I've seen in a while.

Peace, Jeff

March 13, 2010 3:35 PM  
Blogger Joseph Gallo parried...

Jeff, my friend, I thank you for your kind comments. If any of this moves you, then my work as a poet is complete. For if we are incapable of being moved, we are then immovable.
Hope life is well and rich for you, my friend. :-)

March 13, 2010 7:31 PM  

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