Poem for a Missed Funeral
after Frank O'Hara
And in sixty years on a Thursday in Arlington, Massachusetts
you will be lifted from your chair on the veranda.
It's always autumn in the soaked libraries of New Orleans, but here
we have too much unbroken light to postmark with seasons.
I regret that I will not attend the wake. Being outlived
has trashed my social calendar, but I'll turn an eye
to the leaf at rest on your daughter's left
show. I'm glad she didn't inherit your lack of style.
It's not like flying or falling asleep. It's more like
an atheist at mass, kneeling under his conclusions.
It was your studied pain I loved, and if it survives the naked transit
out of the earth maybe you'll tell me how you got that scar.