Kim Dower

May 23, 2020 Dower Kim

In my new room upstairs,
you can hear the poets mingle:
parties, indiscretions, confessions,
comforting & terrifying each other.
I’m proud to say I finally
put my poetry books away,
dusted, sorted, alphabetized,
before shelving on the lemon scented oak.
I carried stacks of them up the steps
Addonizio, Ai, Angelou,
their spines pressed together,
sisters of truth, sleeves touching,
Constantine next to Corbett –
for sure they’d have been friends.
Corbett gone too soon, before
I could tell him thank you.
Duhamel next to Dunn, what a perfect match,
Duhamel who learned from Lux, Lux
who takes up an entire shelf,
I placed his books oh so gently,
volume by volume, line by line, each word
a breath he’ll no longer take.
I thank all the birdbaths in the world
for the miracle of him.
Kurt Brown wrote
“All poems say one thing: death is coming.”
Up here in my Poetry Palace death
has never felt so alive.

Kim Dower, former City Poet Laureate of West Hollywood, has published four collections of poetry with Red Hen Press. Her most recent book, Sunbathing on Tyrone Power’s Grave won the Gold IPPY for best poetry book of 2019.