Six Poems by E.C. Kane

You’ve been reading about
the bells in Japan
________turning past the sad points

________rip them out
________I say

You have enough sadness
________so do I

Upon holding a raisin gently between two fingers —

Something which is soft and fleshy at its core

________alone with my father
________he in his hospital bed

________too soft, too fleshy
________a pelvis too narrow for the
________machine’s arm to pass

________nurses, orderlies pass in the hall


________you deserve this, it’s what you
________asked for

First, pile stalky green leaves high in the pan

turn the heat on, so that they begin to wilt

olive oil

more leaves, more leaves

That’s enough
onto a plate they go to rest

Now a knife of butter
two eggs cracked

deposit the broken, jumbled shells into the compost bag

getting fat
spreading its girth over the freezer floor

Once the eggs are going,
walk into the living room and say something to the cat

Salt, pepper, red chile

The round brown pita goes under the broiler

The whites of the eggs have gone hard, glisten

All of it goes onto the plate, nestled gently in the greens
the pita, warmed, torn in four equal pieces
arranged around

Remembering yesterday’s breakfast
the cat will stand ready
crowd the plate
as you eat

all of us in the kitchen
____where it is warm

it is damp out

the radio plays
____there is a fire in the wood stove

no hint you’ll grow old
____buy a house

____and nearly set it on fire

setting newspapers on top of the wood stove
setting matches there too

do you want to burn it all down?

laid bare
____I will bundle you up again and again
in whatever soft blanket I find
____I will bury you deep
____deeper than the last time
____and the time before that

Your bones in my backyard
____now someone else’s
now mine

You rise to shut the window.
I rise to leave.
I’ll just sit outside now —
____the cold night air does not trouble me

There’s this crinkling wind
____this feeling of possibility
now that sadness has lifted
____and fallen again

Whatever happened to your friend —
____the one who lived in Montclair

[the one you took to the hospital that night after Thanksgiving, after making macaroni and cheese on the stove of his emptied apartment]

Emptied after the divorce —

Years late I tell you on the phone,
____in the park
I don’t want to hear this
yet again
____the story of what happened.