Dave Slater

almost alone in
few friends gathered
round his lonely graveside

with his crumpled eyes
ragged pockets lined with
well-worn poems

flower in hand
bending slowly
to kiss pale lips

reeling out
of black mountain caves
singing no songs

& only I'm not there
eager young poet
fresh out of school

& he was not one of my
I never listened to his stories
in laughing moonlit streets
drunk and out of tune
I never sat in hotel rooms
moaning to his crazy blues
I never scored with him
I never whored with him
never scrambled blindly over
mexican rooftop worlds

yet now
7 yrs.later
I drink wine with him &
discuss old times
send screaming poems out
into the sky
like flocks of happy swans

he was never alone in death
the roses in his coffin
were all smiling


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