Charles Wax


When Treasure stepped into Meng's


The sadness had not yet
left her
burying her grandmother
two days ago.
Suddenly Benny plopped down,
hoisted the Thunderbird
above his open mouth
tilted his wrist, swallowed
then smiled, finally holding out
the bottle to Treasure
who shook her head, No.
“Why do people die, Bernstein? ” she asked
“96, ” I said softly.
“Too much love.”
“A blessing.”
“I didn’t want her to go
not yet.”
Outside thunder
followed by pounding rain.
Benny gulped again, no smile
just a sigh, then another.
“A little longer
her eyes.
That too much to want, Bernstein? ”
“About your grandma? ” asked Benny.
Silence. I said, “Yeah.”
“Her name? ” he asked
“Janice, ” said Treasure,
Benny held the bottle high
said, “To Janice.”
then began the swallow
until all the booze was gone
also Benny, head down,
eyes closed, barely breathing.
“Looks almost dead, ” I said.
“So pretty
in the coffin, blue dress,
shiny black shoes
told me not to be troubled…”
“She spoke to you? ”
“As best she could
being she was dead.”

Submitted: Saturday, May 04, 2013
Edited: Wednesday, September 18, 2013

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