2012/06/19 § Leave a comment
On the theme of leftovers
(for Maurice Sendak)
Our room keeps some spirit of the congress we held inside, trapping ghosts
who hang in the air like far-off birdsong.
I cannot disperse these dybbukim,
I cannot open the windows.
I can only peel the poster gum from the walls and sweep the sugar from the countertops.
I can only clean so long before crying
like an old man cries
for his friends whose departure he cannot delay.
Is there lamb’s blood on the lintel?
I almost look, wondering
at the quietness that lingers
like lipstick stains on a wineglass rim.
Patrick Bahls is a mathematics professor and a writer. He makes use of poetry in teaching math. He lives in the mountains of western North Carolina with his wife and pets.