Wednesday, October 14, 2009

I Don't Worry About Curses

-Good friend for Jesus sake forbear
to dig the dust enclosed here.
Blessed be he that spares these stones
and cursed be he that moves my bones.
-Etched on Shakespeare’s grave

You told me that I never eat eggs like this.
You said, in fact, that you have never seen me eat eggs at home.

But this is not home. This is England. And more importantly
this is a little restaurant in Stratford Upon Avon

and it’s so very old, older than I can really fathom
when I run my hands along the wood beams of the Garrick Inn.

Older than you or I or the other lives we lived before this.
So I am different here too, older even, walking the cobblestones

in my loud boots, creeping through the chancel
to see Shakespeare’s final resting place.

The man at the church says it isn’t his fault.
He says there is nothing he can do.

You tell him we crossed the ocean.
I see your fingers twitch as you want to grab him by the collar.

But he says you can almost see it. He is British and proper.
He says the construction at Trinity Church is necessary.

And I think, well, it was bound to happen.
I tell you its okay. I can be proper too.

But in my dreams, I am not reasonable.
I don’t stand on my tippy toes, to see peek through scaffolding.

In my dreams I slip through the railing and I climb across the pews.
The proper English man yells in the background. He tells me to stop.

I lay one cool cheek on the tombstone
I close my eyes, hold my breath, and I trace my fingers through the curse.

In my dream, I don’t just walk away
pick out a stone to keep from the walkway.

I don’t just glance back and think about what I could have done,
what I should have done, after all these years and miles.

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