What’s your favorite fruit?
Victoria asked. The japonica
when I wear a kimono in my
bedroom above the courtyard,
I said. Now, when I taste my
first bite, I hear moths murmur
to her dances, dream of the cemetery
under the moon and watch headstones
tease their namesakes in the ground.
Caisson horses wait while she
struggles each night. Where to now,
I ask? Chemo’s teased her long
enough as she wheezes its promises,
and I may as well listen to Procol
Harum sing Christmas music
than watch her grip the bed rail.
Or remember that nobody escapes
the mausoleum after unlocking
the mansion’s door. Now, with no
japonicas to remind me how much
she aches, even as I watch butterflies
and geese share the sky, I pray I’ll
never surrender until the cattails
sway, telling me she’s free.
David Spicer, the author of one full-length collection and four chapbooks and the former editor of raccoon, Outlaw, and Ion Books, lives in Memphis with his wife and two Maine Coon cats. He likes to binge watch crime shows, listen to singer-songwriters, and obsess about poems.