Things I Never Told You

BY andrew mobbs

When you sat shiva in your family's den, the lentils growing cold
on the stove,

Your father's cheekbones burning with the candles, his tears
dripping with the wax,

Prayers in Hebrew creeping up the walls, you forcing a memory
of a birthday party,

Or the time you asked her about the Dead Sea, was it true no fish
swam there happily,

And the time she responded yes, that Yahweh kept some places
just for himself,

You bending down in black poplin, angry at the white roses
for standing erect,

Because any non-wilting thing was bathetic, your bristly legs
in that drafty room,

You wondering why I never called you, never rubbed the grief
out of your shoulders,

Never brought you any words or food, though I tended
to burn everything,

You secretly proud of your stoicism, the candle melting
into a cesspool,

The single fly on the taupe-colored wall, silent while rubbing
its legs furiously,

When you endured it all, I was thinking about what suit
I should wear,

If your father would approve of it, if a store-bought cake
was too contrived,

How I love you most when you are vulnerable, when your head
limps towards my chest,

How death is most apparent through a pungent smell, a mixture
of mothballs and smoke,

I was sobbing for your entire tribe, the air conditioner droning
in unison,

I noticed the skies were between colors, could they ever
choose just one.


Andrew reads "Things I Never Told You"

Andrew Mobbs: blond-headed, whiskey-lipped, tiny Neptune eyes. Modern day Mongolian nomad. He writes poetry about things on which people step. He doesn't own a pair of tennis shoes. He does edit Nude Bruce Review.