I promised to return
to the shaggy mantle of grass
that binds you
surrounded by golf courses, which should amuse you
supine, facing westward hoping to catch the sunset,
at least it seems that way to me.
I wondered if a gravestone had been laid,
wanted to bring you a vase of roses,
green, like the orecchiette you craved
with pesto, fava beans or rapini
a glass or two of Chianti
the expensive kind gangsters in sharkskin suits enjoy at lunch in the city.
I remember the navy white pinstriped number you had made in London
you wore it with a chocolate brown Borsalino slightly cocked over one eye
it sat on the credenza behind your desk like an objet
you made the mistake of asking if I would like to try it on
I said Yes, stole it from you and took it home
where it sits on my desk, like an objet
The groundskeeper wrote on the Locator Map
“After 4 way, stop between 25th & 26th tree on rt,
after markers, turn go 26 graves in.”
I walked and looked from side-to-side
not to miss your name burnished into metal,
Bruce G. 1935-2015, nothing special, under the New Jersey sun.
I suppose it makes sense for you to be here,
underground this way
it reminds me of nights at the Vanguard
down a narrow flight of steps in the rain, it was always raining,
down into a cavern, next to the subway,
rumbling along to Chucho or Robert or Terrence.
The waitress would bring you a glass of white wine
you would lay your big hands on the dinged wooden tabletop
Lorraine would stop to say Hello
your fingers playing the notes of a piano, a sax, the drums
there were moments when I thought you would be happy
taking tickets at the door.