You stuck your face on a stake.
Not sign post to a buried bounty, but a display.
Your hard-knock skin so smooth as I moved closer.
“I composted my heart,” you said. “Planted it in the cabbage leaves and potato parings, guts with the worm castings.
Left the lungs higher up though –
just under the grass cover of clippings, where the light still creeps through.”
I get it now – your wry grin, sprout of a joke –
filaments of leaf-space where the world thins in.
Although sometimes there’s no hiding.
The ventricles spark,
tendrils clamour to kiss,
but the roots, the roots
know this shove, this thrust, this rip,
this and this and this.
His gag life’s twist.
You took up your trowel and scratched over sentiment, self-doubt,
making a rivulet for a story.
The story you steely stood, told in all its goriness:
the places, the ins and outs
the times… I watched in admiration from the gallery.
Even now, my tenacious friend, you still won’t be dug out –
let fingers squeeze the kidney, trachea, the spleen.
And how can we expect it – those of us who’ve not known that?
I wanted you to hear about Maya and others, “I don’t read”, you said.
But I sent you my small story and you wrote –
wrote in a way your lips would never move,
snapping new girl from strange root,
letting lung inhale wisps of life
and I say write –
write painful, hopeful, write hefty, pithy.
Write fight. Write something new –
write write write it.
Write for your life!