crippled before the coffin of her Gerald,
her grimace like a ruddy tongue extending
from the television screen and licking your neck.
You would think sorrow
a child’s game until this moment.
Sorrow is men
standing behind you, terrified at your loss.
They rub your back while pain
scrambles out of you like so many marbles
from a fish tank.
This is no act.
Shit like this gets you through your daily
jog, your next blind date.
You throw your ruined clothes
in the yellow hamper.
make idle remarks about
You keep your gun clean.
You see her kneeling at the threshold
every time you close your eyes.
Your patience is a Jesus
who washes the sin
from your body with fine soap
and fresh breath.
(from Alex Smith’s Lux, p. 31)