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.
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 sunk back down
Into the very bottom
Of the belly of the whale.