University Girlfriend

The evening after I read your obituary,
you crawled into bed with me.

Your spirit did not muss the sheets
or bend the mattress.

Your voice could have been the breeze,
but the breeze never tells me to eat more avocados.

In your sleepy whisper you recite the lord’s prayer,
but change father to sister.

Your last goodnight is to the birds
as they tuck themselves into the cholla.

Your breathing eased, my breathing eased as well.
Your slight snore signaled you slept. I slept.

All these years and still you snuggle your back into me.
But farther in than in life.

So it is, I wake alone. Dirt from your grave on my hands.
An indelible track shimmers the air.


copyright © 2019 Kenneth P. Gurney

5 thoughts on “University Girlfriend

  1. OMG Kenneth! First of all, I just want to say that this is a terribly sad yet, super well written poem!!! I truly hope and wish and pray that you did not actually experience this. But if you did, I want you to know that you have turned her living and her afterlife into beauty. Beauty that shall shimmer the air in the universe forever. Thank you for sharing.

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    1. Thank you for your kind words. In this case, no one died, although I wrote it two weeks before I learned one of my better friends passed away. I write poems about folks dying and my response to the event (or imagined response), because so many of the people I have known over the years have died. Being part of the artist-poet community too many people I have known have died by violence, AIDS (during the 90s), and suicide. I am now old enough that friends are beginning to die due to age related conditions. Sometimes a feeling of loss and a metal vision comes over me and I write a poem like this. You are welcome. I enjoy sharing my poems.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Wow, thank you for sharing. I immensely appreciate it. You know, I truly believe that one of the most beautiful things that you can do for someone who has passed away is bring them back to life through writing. You’re creating beauty from beautiful people who have walked this earth. I’m grateful that you decide to share that beauty. Thank you immensely!

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