C. M. Tollefson
You’ve had the thought a thousand times over:
Your Father standing stoic at your funeral,
Red tie swaying, friends he never knew
Offering condolences, your gravestone
Already stained with moss. Tulips beside
Bibles beside your graduation photo
(The one your Father loved, but you detested)—
This is Stravinsky’s violins screeching
Behind your forehead, the beauty
Of intruding dissonance: do it.
Beyond biography, beyond the fighting owls,
Rests the still-born smiles of all those kids
Who never made it to graduation—eyes
Glassed over in quiet, eaten alive by promises:
These are the best years of your life.
I remember them, my harem of forever-
Virgins, who only wanted to cuddle
But never did—Deaths immediate departure
Always sooner than expected.
I have heard: The weep of a Mother mad
With guilt—if onlys echoing between
The hills. Did he suffer? Perhaps not
At that final moment, joy redounding
As he fell. The flood could not come
Soon enough: You should have see him
Flailing in the air—
Doing a rain dance, begging the clouds.
The thought that comes a thousand times over,
Now, accompanied by that moment.
There is no better way to die, then dancing
Weightless, and finally without worry,
Not having to hear your Mother
Blame herself for burying
Her youngest son
C. M. Tollefson is a poet and musician living in Portland, OR. He co-runs the poetry journal Cathexis Northwest Press. He writes as a way of grasping the intangible and making sense out of overwhelming stimulus. His work may so far be found in Anapest, The Esthetic Apostle, Chaleur Magazine, and elsewhere. He harbors a strong distaste for describing himself.