The day you flew in perfect arc
from your motorcycle was the same day
I broke the perfect formation of your women
at the railing, leaving behind
your grandmother and mother, to run
and jump the fence. The stop watch hanging
from my neck, suspended between gravity
and momentum, swung its perfect pendulum.
All our motion was brought to conclusion
by your broken body at rest
on the ground. Your breath never rose
to the oxygen placed on your face
and your heart never rallied
to the arms pressing your chest.
You wore the perfect clothes:
the ashy grey of death.
At the hospital they said your failure to survive
was complete. Though I never saw
the neck you perfectly broke or your body
cleanly draped by a sheet, I did see
your dead face bruising up at me
and for lack of something to touch,
I touched the stop watch
which had not died.
If any nurse or doctor had asked,
I could have told, exactly,
to the hundreths of seconds, how long
it had been since I'd seen you alive.--- From Hard Kisses
©2003 Laurie Duesing