b.z. niditch | delmore's silence


(In Memory 1913-1967)

White linen slip covers
a New York’s island face
hardly changed on the steps
of midnight
expanding a sigh
on a sober sidewalk
up from the alley
hearing a sideman
playing jazz
from the top floor
and you, Delmore
now undressed
in your month old shirt
turn a trope
in dour expressions
toward the mirror
on your unmade bed
weeding the dictionary
in a sign of mourning
to find an obituary
for yourself,
here on as a jazz
festival begins
you hide in a waterfall
of rain kisses
on the window
in liquid quiet shutters,
letting go
a dead bird underfoot
to fall on
the fire escape,
you quietly hum
Schubert’s Trout’s theme
wishing fame
to enervate you
like your peers
without a venture
outside the words
weighing down
your shortened body
in once belly fires
of younger years.

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