Matthew Zapruder

It’s the start of baseball season,

and I am thinking again

as I do every year

in early April now

that I live in California

where afternoon is a blue

span to languidly cross

of those long ones

you used to sort of sleep

through getting drunk

on many beers, lying

next to your radio

on a little square of grass

in the sun, listening

half to the game and half

to the Pacific water gently

slapping the concrete

barrier of the man-made cove.

I have heard it and it sounds

like conversations among

not there people I can’t

quite hear. But you could.

And later you would try

to remember what they said

and transcribe it on your

black typewriter

in your sad, horrible room.

When I read your poems

about suicide and psychoanalysis

I feel very lucky and ashamed

to be alive at all. Everyone

has been talking lately

about radiation, iodine,

and wind, and you are in

your grave, far from the water.

I know I don’t care about you

at all but when I look

at your photograph,

your round head tilted up

so you are staring down

at everyone, I remember

how much you hated your body.

Today I will go down by the water

where you used to sit and think

I do not hate my body

even though I often do.

When I die please write he tried

on whatever stone you choose.

My Life

Here as I sat all broken hearted

Came to rest and just wondered

My life is complete and now I leave

I loved, I wept and, in the end,

I did.

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