Sunday, April 08, 2012

poem 5 of 30 - April 2012

Lay him down – an elegy for the surviving

For Cameron Fuller-Holloway (4/5/86-1/15/12)

Once there was Charles, walking his bicycle

home; leaving us when his time seemed too green

for going. And then there was Curtis

whom we lost to the scandal of the time

who couldn’t tell me whom he loved

because it was 1986 and these were new

monsters. And before them Camille claimed

by a raging surf, and her brother forever

angry after that, but at least their father

stopped hitting their mother. And Ajodah

whose own lungs betrayed him every story

a gospel of tragedy, a god reaching in

to teach us how to lay our loves down.

And then Rudy’s liver and Peter’s heart

and Kirk’s heart and Gabrielle’s cancer

and Richard’s cancer and Brenda’s cancer

and Peter’s cancer – moved so swift

it sparkled like a flying fish and came

upon us in the dark. What I’m trying

to say is we lay our loves down in the fullness

of the rich dirt, in the loam of the night,

in the cocoa-rich valleys in which they were born,

pour out in their memories the very spirits

which deconstructed the angels

in their platelets – sitting round their

beds, remembering once how you made

love, and the only language between you

was sweat.

And now your own young

beauty – who leaves, even as he walks

among you like a promise – love him

in this laying down, love him

in the magic of his going. This is all

the sky has been trying to train in us.

Mark only the spot where he touched

you last and tell your hearts they are not made

of tombstones, but laughter, water, blood,

fire, salt, stars, mud, rain, hyacinths, all

the secrets of ongoing and forgiveness,

the willingness of drums, the want

of flesh, the eucharist of liquor

in the throat. This is what the heart

is made of, and what is bequeathed

us by this boy – beautiful and young

in his going.

What are the questions asked

of us by breath? By the sun?

by the miracle of moonlight

from the window of a plane,

all the earth a conspiracy

of light? Every day those we love

squeeze through doors toward

something so brilliantly beyond us,

all they can think to leave us are

these wonders - 44 black tulips

flowering on a lover’s lawn,

the discovery of laughter in chimpanzees,

the improbable honor of new babies,

and weddings and the taut peal of love

singing out between people made

of ridiculous hopes – lay him down

and know how amazing it was

to be him – made entirely of muscle

and by whom loved like he might

be pope, president or rock star.

Lay Cameron down and dress him

in the honorifics of anything good

you ever saw in him.

The day he first showed you

the dark lines of his palms

are still forever yours.

Lay him down in that

generous embrace – the one made

of fish and moonlight and the impossible

echo of drums, and sing him home,

sing him home, sing him

everywhere he needs

to roam.

To schedule a reading or an appearance please contact Ofer Ziv at Blue Flower Arts at 845-677-8559 or email


Blogger C.L.A.T.A said...

I knew and loved Cameron, your words moved me to tears. Not only for Cam, but the sense of extreme loss that people feel everyday. You are truly gifted. RIParadise Cameron Fuller Holloway.

12:23 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home