Ruthann Robson



almost blue, the river

at least from a distance


close: hazel

(the color of her eyes after

i no longer loved her)


closer, closer: cupped

in the hand that had once touched

her and drawn to the mouth that

had more than once - - - :clear




the year we were both dying, the plumber

& i, we continued working

certainly, we needed the money

(hopeless medical procedures are the most expensive)

but we also wanted to belong to the world

and believe that things were fixable

that morning, he came when i called him

(the dying sometimes swear allegiance)

into my bald and scrawny apartment

where my kitchen sink was clogged

nothing as simple as i'd hoped, the elbow

trap, instead, we were at the main drain,

corroded, tumescent, and even leaking,

oh Larry, i asked, is this really very serious?

sweetheart, he said, his face blank as the ceiling

which terminated his gaze, you of all people

should know this:  it's only plumbing.




this is the expectation: resolution

deconstructed, we remain reflexive Hegelians

(thesis, antithesis, synthesis)

we want all our images neatly bundled and tied


we crave details that accrete into meaning

we want alms in the form of answers

to questions we believe are begging

who was that woman


with the hazel/not-hazel eyes and why

did we break-up, if we did, and what

was i dying of, if i really was, and if

i was, why am i not dead yet?


or is it all about the river and the drainpipe,

connected through metaphor

or symbol, Lethe or Oshun

or samsara itself?


i can offer no satisfactions, i have nothing

my darling, there are only desires

those exquisite ropes that lash us

to this astonishing raft of life.