The day Frank died

Cannot forgive myself for not knowing
where I was on the day Frank O’Hara
died      “Do what you want, but don’t get hurt,” his
father told him.       I get a little Ver-
laine for Patsy 
                 feel the dust in the back
of my throat     “Take my watch, it’s always fast,
cram more life into your day.”     Grace to be
born with that wit     that gift for friendship    for
poetry       to live more variously
Slow sobs of autumn     played on violins
a library of crystal tears    Cribbage
into the early hours     Patsy asleep
in my arms  :  so silent I hear the thump
of her heart
             she’s out cold to the sadness

John Lyons

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