Checking You Out

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.

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