No need to dress in riot gear, my dear, my apologies.
After all these years I was curious whether you were still alive.
You were always bulletproof, your shield erect always,
ready for combat, even when you stood there naked,
the stance of a dancer, an Ali poised to punch one-two,
although I was down for the count before you ever threw a blow.
It’s good to know you’re still with us – thank you for the cursory note –
to know that you’re not some ghost about whom I’d hear,
third- or fourth-hand, how you’d passed on, leaving me no words.
I can believe I could see you, sitting at the foot of my bed,
me coming awake with a start, chilled all to ice and cracking,
you there, diaphanously dark, staring and stone-faced.
I’d be speechless, and you’d recall I wasn’t
worth haunting at all, and disappear for eternity.