(after “For My Daughter” by David Ignatow)
When you scatter my ashes in Northside Park
many years from now (I hope,
though we have no say in these things),
let the wind take them and become
my voice, invisible, a wordless song
known only by its singular note
and its ability to make leaves and branches
dance like little green puppets
for your pleasure and amusement.
After the leaves have stilled and hushed,
the wind that is me will have moved
into the echo chamber of memory
where endings try so hard not to end.
Yet every song must have an ending.
I thought I knew what joy was
before you came to me. I doubt I will know
what grief is until I must say goodbye.
I would rather let the wind say it for me,
and the long brown grasses on the shore
of the pond where we looked for turtles together,
and the water rippling with tiny waves
carried beyond themselves
into the darkening dusk.
After years of writing humor for the New Yorker, the Onion and McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, among others, Kurt Luchs returned to his first love, poetry, like a wounded animal crawling into its burrow to die. In 2017 Sagging Meniscus Press published his humor collection, It’s Funny Until Someone Loses an Eye (Then It’s Really Funny), which has since become an international non-bestseller. In 2019 his poetry chapbook One of These Things Is Not Like the Other was published by Finishing Line Press, and he won the Atlanta Review International Poetry Contest, proving that dreams can still come true and clerical errors can still happen. His first full-length poetry collection, Falling in the Direction of Up, is out from Sagging Meniscus as of May 2021.