When I Pass to the Nether World
When I pass to the nether world, my dearest,
watch for me in the rain.
Do not go outside in gentle dress--
I will be the acid from hammer fist clouds.
When the weather changes,
be sure to salt the walkway as you go.
I will be the black ice beneath your feet.
Every time you hear a creak in the old house we shared
do not look to me for protection.
I will not be there.
Hire an exterminator in the morning.
I will be the master of termites
eating away the core of your wooden heart
and when you look through the glass plate
into the arms of the mulberry tree,
I will be there too
smoke and gray, dust and webbing,
the blue sky always dark,
the house dingy with grit and pauses.
When you choose to drive through the ugliness of night,
I will be your GPS system.
You will know me by my voice.
Do not forget me.
If you have any thoughts on this poem, Michael Brownstein would
be pleased to hear them.