DeWitt Clinton

Life Without You

Once on the other side,
No more “hello, dear”
To hear “hello.”

There’d be the cat, of course, and maybe
Another one, just to make a home
With two instead of one.

What will I do with all these clothes,
All of them hanging downstairs
Each perfumed with you.

Everywhere there’d be you, in all
The rooms, things you’d have
Done all these years.

The sheets, who would decide
The color of the sheets this week.
That was always up to you.

Maybe I’d sleep more, no more
Up and down, old boards
Creaking through the night.

All those saved TV shows.
Who wants to see all those
Murderers show up again?

Maybe I’ll take some
Of the blue ones.
What do the blue ones do?

There’s a drawer full of underwear.
There’s more downstairs.
Some just arrived in the mail.

If I could have nothing
Then maybe I’ll just look
At your diamond ring.

No trips to the burial
Grounds.  Been there
Once, that’s enough.

Maybe I’ll rent a
Movie.  No need to whisper
If you’re not here.

Maybe I’ll just start
To walk, maybe I can
Walk all the way to work.

You’re right, I’ll start
Dusting, maybe the
Blue sheets will do.

DeWitt Clinton is Emeritus Professor at the University of Wisconsin, Whitewater, and lives in Shorewood, Wisconsin. His essay on travelling in Poland was recently published in Cultural Studies ↔ Critical Methodologies. A few poems from a book length adaptation of Kenneth Rexroth’s 100 Poems from the Chinese have appeared in Cha: An Asian Literary Quarterly, qarrtsiluni, Verse Wisconsin, Verse-Virtual, and The Missing Scale.

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