Friday, July 11, 2008

When Berryman Died by Chella Courington

He left his shoes, scuffed loafers,
on the bridge. A cordovan pair
he could have shed
anywhere: at the university
beside his desk, under Tate’s coffee table,
at the foot of a lover’s bed.

Every night he thought, tomorrow.
Mornings, he remembered
his suit at the cleaners, his essay
on Marlowe, students waiting
outside his office. January 7
reasons ran dry.

He bathed and trimmed his beard,
putting on a new shirt.
In eight degrees he walked
to the bridge.

First published in Touchstone (SP 2008), #40. Ed. David Murphy.

1 comment:

allison said...

hi chella i really liked this poem. romantic imagery (leaving his shoes at the foot of a lovers bed) contrasted really well with his sort of hyper-rational approach to suicide. (no excuses left to avoid it.)

i am still writing ive been writing a lot lately, mostly about my grandmother who just died, i need to post them.

i'm at allan hancock college but will be at sbcc in the spring because for the winter i am planning on studying abroad with them in turkey/israel/morocco.

i miss you.