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"Aster's in Glass"
by Anjali Arora

September 5, 1980 - May 22, 1997

I save my tears when they say

your body mangled in a car wreck

may not breathe tomorrow,

because you are a survivor.

Then, I let masked men take you

into the polished cathedral,

for expensive tatoos that run

from your throat all the way down.

You would savor the crooked design

conceived in a season cursed

with sleepless nights, sterile smells,

and "code blue" bells.

I watch the bed waiting,

(on the day of the Spring equinox,

when our hills are green

from winter rain) and expect

you, my miracle child,

to wake up and say, "surprise."

Each second is eternity,

every minute, brutal time,

while acid pain inside of me

is fertilized by reality

and I learn what you knew

about the brain,

that it's the hard drive

for the mind which is the software

for the soul, which is the user.

I can't see the sun through fog

that devours me. I can't sense time

because dreams feast on

phantom flashes of life

when your body sleeps.

Everything you did

is sealed like sweet and sticky sap

in the marrow of my soul.

Everything you said

is caged in my mind

as I try to make the past real

when it isn't, try to make yesterday

alive, while it is dying with your flesh.

I think about what I'll give you -

the diamond necklace your father gave

me and I was saving for you,

crystal glasses in the china closet

and the silver star ring

that was my mother's and you took

from my dresser last year, but

I feel you over me, laughing, and know

it's ridiculous to think of these things

when you aren't really dying, just

changing spaces the way salmon swim

and find the sea before returning upstream

to spawn and start the cycle of life again.

My tears grow fierce like a desert storm

the second your spirit is free. I am weak

from the poisonous plague

that steals a slice of my soul

with creation's climax.

The way we were and the way it

was with you, my blue-eyed blond,

lives as a brief breath in eternity

now that you are gone.

Today I envy ten years ago,

when life hungered for

free time and the future.

If I could only stand

in the rain and let it rinse away

the Spring of '97, I would

surrender to the miracles

of incarnated days

when there wasn't time.

I would capture every second

and I wouldn't think about tomorrow

or dust and dirty dishes. I would choke

life with my love and learn each one

of those dumb blond jokes you told me

rather than be seduced by poetry.

From your room I hear

coyotes whine under a full moon

and remember Felix, your cat,

who disappeared so that

coyotes could celebrate lunch.

I see night decorated

with empty shadows that loom

over your Budda and Nirvana.

I wonder if your last words to me,

"I love you, too," will fade

with the dress I caress. I feel

the hollow spot and close the door

to a living tomb that silently sears

---my heart forever.

Carol Anne Lindsay

CAROL ANN LINDSAY's poetry has been published in both literary and commercial magazines. She's a "Letters" member and President of the National League of American Pen Women (NLAPW) who has won numerous poetry awards, including honorable mention in 1993 for her book "SONGS FROM A SAN DIEGO MORNING." Lindsay is mother of four, Michael, Mark, Christine, and Candice (deceased-5/22/97). She enjoys music, poetry, walking, biking, and the beach.

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