A Giddy Sound - Rebekah Keaton

There, in a brown chair, you float
on time’s rough nap and watch
the girl you had vaguely loved at twenty |
unhitched to time, swirl in a soft vapor
in a dress of love and death, of seaweed
green and narcissus blooms. You learn
how time sparks and flits like fireflies caught
in a mason jar.

I mean, in that chair, you try to sly step
middle age and your best friend’s cancer
and love again his younger sister, the girl
you once kissed in a stairwell of the college library,
and later in the heavy dewed grass of a Tibetan
prayer field, suddenly struck by the luck
of being young and making love among the flags
waving their allegiance to everything
divine.

You watch the woman learn to monitor
fevers and signs of skin breakdown, and how |
to expertly prepare syringe and vial, flick
the air from the plastic tubing –
like memory it bubbles to the surface.

Your best friend groans, grips the metal sides
of the hospital bed newly set in his parents’
living room. She looks at you. Sees the boy.
Delivers a steady pinch.

The plunge makes a giddy sound –
That drive to feel what’s needed, if not real.

Rebekah Keaton lives in Buffalo, NY.  She holds a PhD in literature and is Professor of English at a community college just outside of Niagara Falls where she teaches creative writing, composition, American Literature, and coordinates the On the Edge Poetry Series. Her poetry has appeared in many literary magazines and journals and has twice been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She is the recent recipient of the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for the Creative Arts.  She enjoys spending time with her family and running.  She is training for her first marathon.