For Charles Epps
What's left these 38 years after Charlie
died? The same as what was left a minute
after he died: an avalanche of absence.
I've visited the grave. I always go alone. I
let morbidity, a pettiness, arise, think
of what's under ground, including
the baseball uniform in which they put
his body. It's easy to move past small,
awful thoughts. What's left to resolve?
Everything. He ought to be alive. God
knows that as well as I. My knowledge
stops there. I don't know why he died,
only how, when, where, and with whom--
Sonny Ellis. Their death numbed,
scandalized, and scarred me, but so what?
I got to live at least 38 years more
than they. When I die, so will my grief,
and so it goes. Like an instinctive,
migratory mourner, I think of Charlie
at least four times a year and every May
and try to think of something more to say.
Copyright 2009 Hans Ostrom