LIFE AND DEATH ON VENICE STREET
We’ve seen so many movies by now
that when I see the hearse from my bedroom window,
pecking at the intersection,
my brain scrolls through a list of neighbors.
Then I put my hand on my heart,
just to feel its rhythm,
and take another sip of coffee.
I spit it up, though,
when the doorbell rings,
and I see the vehicle parked out front.
Has my wife died a second time?
I put on a shirt, of all colors a red one,
and open the door to a young
woman, attractively dressed in black.
She asks if anyone has died on the block,
and then, when I tell her I’m not one to say,
asks me, in Hungarian, if I would
accompany her to the beach.
“Jack won’t go,” she says. “Can you?”
Except for the coast of Nova Scotia,
and Iceland, I haven’t visited a beach
since I was a kid; ugly Myrtle, I think,
remembering how I loathed the scavenging
seagulls, a roasted back,
old chest hair and plastic-looking
yellow toenails running loose,
the vacationers lined up lazily
on the sand like a game show.
But the eyes in front of me shimmer,
so I don’t tell her, just glance back
at my childhood with a fresh face
of nostalgia. Say sure with a run.
Timothy B. Dodd is from Mink Shoals, WV. His poetry has appeared in Big River Poetry Review, The William and Mary Review, Floodwall, The Mayo Review, and elsewhere. He is currently in the MFA program at the University of Texas El Paso.
Read our interview with Tim here.