Poems

The One Who Should Write My Elegy Is Dead

The one who should write my elegy is dead

When we made that bet he said most likely
          I’d be the loser writing his elegy instead

Nothing is as beautiful as nothing he once said
          so hip just chain-smoking Camels or

Riding his shaky Triumph up Van Ness & the one
          who should write my elegy is dead

I guess I always knew I’d have to write my own
          elegy for him instead

Rimbaud on a tractor Anna says or Jagger pirouetting
          through the ranch’s drying shed

The one who should write my elegy is dead
          so I won’t rehearse again those

Hungers that we fed or expose both the cruelties
          & those we shared

I’ll simply try again to finish writing this last elegy
          instead of looking back & tonight

My daughter Vivienne’s off with friends & Anna’s
          reading of all things Winter Stars in bed

& the one who should write my elegy is dead & I’m
          the one the loser left here just as

He said I’d be left here writing his elegy instead