Good Evening, Death

(Published Boston Literary Magazine)

Let it be tonight.
Okay, not tonight
exactly. Too much
to wrap up. But a night like this.
Star-covered and simple.
After Scrabble. No, not Scrabble.
No sense in giving him
a double whammy.
Chess or canasta,
so he can have the last win.

After cherry pie.
Because he’ll have
gotten to sneak-watch me in the kitchen
and time his entrance
as I’m dough-covered,
struggling to reach more flour.
So he can walk over, lip pouted,
pat me on the head and say,
“Aww, I’ll get it for you.”
I’ll give him my hands-on-hips,
pretend-offended stance.

On that kind of night.
Couch-curled, watching
one of the Vacation movies.
Or better, during George Carlin’s
Flying on the Airlines standup bit.
Definitely not during
football. I don’t want football
ruined for him forever.
And for me,
for obvious reasons…

But yes, watching something funny.
With the screen door
collecting nighttime
sounds. Crickets. Wind chimes.
Neighbors porch-talking.
Let the breeze feel chilly,
so I move closer to him.
Because I love his warmth
and need his coziness,
the relief that comes when
a car alarm stops screaming.

Help him remember his glasses
and the time I told
him to remarry
in case something ever,
well, you know…
I want him to have someone
to watch comedy with.
He forgets things.

And let me yawn
the try-to-stay-awake-but-
I-just-can’t kind.
in his arms. Listening
to him crack up at the TV.
His laughter filling
the room as I drift away.

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