6:30 at the End of the World

Carl Boon


Amelia remembers nothing
but the abstract

of the phone off
its cradle—that sound
of demand, that sound that says

you better not forget me.
It plied against
the kitchen walls,

the stove,
the pipes and beams within
to which she never paid attention.

An enemy’s voice or
lamenting Judas’s or
her mother’s scowling and cold

would’ve been comforts,
things to nurse then turn from,
but this soulless non-voice—no,

not him. She broke a glass
in the bathroom, she watched
her finger bleed, and said

he framed that beach print
wrong and knew it was wrong
for thirty years.

For thirty years I looked at it
and never said, and looked at him
alive, making coffee,

cracking eggs, promising this
or that about the lawn
and the begonias

and Christmas. He smelled of
bad Brut aftershave,
but he was alive.

Tomorrow will be for the print,
Wednesday for his sweaters,
and the tools and fly-rods

and hunting knife
much later, when it’s cold, when
I’m colder to the voice of him.

The technical ones
will do the rest, those for whom loss
has always been a certainty.

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Carl Boon is the author of Places & Names, coming from The Nasiona Press, San Francisco, later this year.

PoetryJeremy Bibaud