A Poem by Michael Estabrook

My mother called today
wants to pay for her funeral
in advance so you boys don’t have
to worry about it.
But I’m not sure how
one does that, who do you pay
after all she may live
another 15 years so I say
just write me a check you can trust me
$20,000 ought to cover it.
Been a long time
since I’ve heard her laugh so hard.

Naked you are simple as one of your hands

A Poem by Anon ymous, Occupy Chicago Poetry

esta es la verdad: ¿cómo la mano
encaja en la mía, que mi piel se quema
de su tacto, la forma en que se pierden
en el otro y es el hogar.

The last table is taken. You nod when asked if I can join you.
No glance. No words. You are engrossed in a book of poems.
I am thinking of summer, blonde fields, the sun a burning ember
in a deep blue sky. My eyes drift up when you turn the page.
I count one, two, three times when the page is turned back to
re-read. I imagine you are sad. Sad in a weary it is time to wait
again way. My mind drifts to snatches of poetry memorized in
school. There’s a couple at the next table, in their sixties,
dressed like they are coming from church.

In love yet, they share their space in comfort. She lightly
touches his hand when he says her name. Smiles at me and I
know they believe we are together. I want to wish it true. Your
sleeves are pushed up, lips a thin brushstroke of red. I ask you
the time; an inane question. I am not going anywhere.
Don’t need to be anywhere. Don’t want to be anywhere but
here. All my destinations are unplanned, bent. The road
unmapped, filled with potholes, every turn is crooked and
sharp. We listen to the impatient shuffle of feet from
customers lined up, barely aware of the low murmur of
conversation. The background music is Dylan. I know what

I want the answer to be: You tell me how to catch fire, how to
hold the spark in the palm of my hand. You tell me how to live
with ashes and dust. How you want to teach me to rub the stain
from a crucible, polish it, hold it to flame until my breath turns
to smoke. You tell me everything I am thinking is true. That
aqua blue is the color of sincerity. That shyness is a refuge,
desolation a virtue. The café is empty. Street lamps flicker,
the city struggles to stay awake. We are unnoticed. I study the
curve of your mouth, want you to feel the weight of loss;
consider the heft of grief, its every angle and bend. I want to
know how it feels to get lost in the motion of you moving
within me; that feeling of being home.

this is truth: how your hand
fits in mine, how my skin burns
from your touch, how we get lost
in each other and it is home.