Nov 232015

by Tracy Blanchard


He met her on her birthday

When she turned 26 and

Was loud and beautiful

In leather pants and tennis socks.

They danced all night and he gave her

The cowboy hat his mother bought

For his senior prom, Austin Texas, 1969.

It suited her.

She had a deep shining diamond core that

Cut his heart.

At 40, he thought he was silly to fall in love,

But fell in love anyway.


He bounded bright and hopeful up her stairs

And knocked on her door,

Fistful of lilies trembling with excitement:

This new love.

She answered,

Red-eyed and crazed.

It’s my head, she said

Shaking it and closing the door

It’s no good.


When she slit her wrists and drowned herself in her pool

Sinking out there in freaky California,

He packed his truck and moved back to Texas,

Finished with new love, new starts.


I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry,

She sobbed in her letters to

Family and friends who

Shushed and hushed her in death,

It’s okay, baby

You rest, we’ll take it from here.

Thank you, she said

So grateful she could crack,

And smiled,

And sunk back down

Into the very bottom

Of the belly of the whale.