String Quartet No. 15, Op. 132 – Tragicomedy

Burning Ship, J. M. W. Turner (CC PDM 1.0)


Accounting is a serious job.
Numbers don’t add themselves;
someone needs to push the button
that makes the payroll pay out.
I did not expect to think this at your funeral.
I did not expect you to die.


I fell asleep to the sound of motorcycles and snow.
I tossed and turned for a time;
you woke me up with dried plums and honey
on a golden plate. I asked for warm milk;
I heard that helped, though I hadn’t drunk milk
in years. You smiled and said no.


Crows cut across the yard.
Don’t write that, you said.
I erased it, and watched the crows.
Twelve turkeys appeared out of nowhere.
The crows paid no attention.
Don’t write that, you said.


We were comparing carpet samples
when you told me you loved me.
I was going through best men in my head
at that very moment. You were thinking maroon,
cerulean, silver kisses in an open-concept kitchen.
I did not expect you to die.


We are honeybees for the time being,
so warm in our hexagons,
busy for a reason. Pesky memory,
let me sleep. If I’m alive, you’re alive too.
Though no.
We are experts of unfinished business.