Conversation with a Dead Poet

Eleonora Luongo

for Michael

I kept them all. The poems, I mean. When I
tried to tell your mother, she’d leaned in, said,
I was the one who found him dead. It’d been
three days, his face was purple, bruised. (You were
always so easily wounded.) I want

to ask—how’d you do it? Instead I kept
your world of Delta blues and punk. Your words.
I want to hide them, share them, pass them on
as mine. Instead they molder in a plain
brown box. This year humidity gave them
a pale and purple stain. It grows each day.