Poetry: Up You Go by Jeffrey Hermann

Maybe we’re climbing a mountain
or maybe we’re falling down a set of stairs
We don’t get it after all this time
that the dead don’t talk

Just assume life is doing the dishes
It’s adjusting the thermostat and grieving
Life is searching the aisles for the toothpaste
your spouse likes

It’s arranging and then
three days later
throwing away cut flowers

Look at the garden there’s death
sprinkled everywhere

A fine delicate
powder and that’s life brother

My wife is joking about cremation
at the surprise party and we all laugh
at each other laughing

There’s tequila
and lime and salt
There’s birthday cake and
everyone loves
the smell of candle smoke

Everyone hopes

heaven is for resting
but there’s a chance
there’s more work to be done
We may lack
the necessary wings
and feathers and the hollow
bones

I have all these books that say let go
of attachment, turn away from desire
but it keeps offering its hand
and I keep reaching out to take it

Jeffrey Hermann’s poetry and prose has appeared in Feral, Palette Poetry, Pank Magazine, trampset, The Shore, and other publications. Though less publicized, he finds his work as a father and husband to be rewarding beyond measure.

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