Mark Danowsky

Another Attempt to Find Loss Language
The #1 & #2 people
On my call list
I tell you
We should have a call & meet up
I give the usual reasons—
I am busy working
My plate is overflowing
My To Do list is endless
You write back
I don’t believe this is why
You insist  
It’s beyond all that
That has gone on this past year—
These past two years
You write
I miss you
I want to see you
I write to
Thank you for missing me
I write
I understand it is hard
I wonder how many worry
If I am OK
I say to all wondering
Of course I’m fine
It’s OK not to be OK
I want you to know that
Because of the grief
The loss
The trauma
& the fierce struggle
For so many
So many lost
Left behind
After the latest rapture
We the people
Alone despite all this
Talk of UFOs
At the end of the day
Does it really matter
What else is out there
In the galaxy?
All we can comprehend
Is here
Right in front of us
All around us
It is alive
Or was
And only what keeps us
Alive is us
Us remembering
Us believing our love
Into existence
Keeping love on the brain
Keeps our loves alive
Lost but never gone
We keep ourselves alive
Keeping them alive
So much more
Than anything else beyond
Our realm
Our little world
So rife with potential
We can overflow
Send shockwaves  
No way to predict
The breadth of our reach

You gone
Your timeline
Plateau —
Then, my life
Without context
No confirmation
No correction
Big surprise
Reins came off
Inhibitions unwound
Vices blind
What tomorrow?
What next week?
What future?
A paradox of inertia
Powered by headspace
Tomorrow is another day
At the bar
Another night in bed
With another body
Personalities to placate
As all efforts become work
What saves
It turns out
Is motion
In the car
Work here
Work there
Out here
Out there
In bed only
It sounds
As bad as it looks
And later
No one cares
Except you
Who remembers
Most of all
And must face
Who you became
No matter how long

Busted Wings
I’m struggling to accept the time
                                	        	I put in
Gilbert reminds us
                                	“Icarus also flew” 
                                                            —that that was a great triumph 
You fought 
                                	just to get through days
Did I miss moments of flight 
                    	too busy walking
                    	                    	on eggshells
I do not want to blame you
                    	        	                    	any longer for
                                                                                the bad times
I could not keep saving you
                       	from yourself
                    	                    	after I became too broken
I have taken up your busted set of wings
                       	        	                    	dusted them off
                                                                                am trying them on for size

Darkness, hey, friend of a friend

I talk around your presence
the entire evening

Steps towards my life with you
silences and nods

My life without,
the life within that knows too much

I dance with demons
I want them with me

Just a few years, god
you have missed out

I have missed you weighing in —
telling me how it really is

I have to be in charge of myself now
& like my 15 year old self

You would shake your head or worse
at how I present myself 

I Look Good on Paper

Nonsense talk
for the sake of

Keeping us
smiling, laughing

Not turning
inward, timid 

The way depression
takes hold

Sure, gradually
then suddenly

like Hemingway says
about losing everything

It is rapid 
& insidious 

How the mind spins
disorients ~ & & &

Flight of thoughts 
hit the metaphorical ceiling fan
ricochet, like TayTay says

Spin you out
leave the mind unsteady 

Unsure, doubtful 
what you know is left uncertain   

Mark Danowsky is Editor-in-Chief of ONE ART: a journal of poetry. He is the author of As Falls Trees (NightBallet Press) and JAWN (Moonstone Press). A short collection Violet Flame is forthcoming from tiny wren lit. His collection Meatless is forthcoming from Plan B Press.
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