Saturday, January 12, 2013


photo: ralph murre

by Marilyn L. Taylor

MORPHINE:  Dosage: 200 milligrams, typically 14 light blue tablets
Timing: unconscious in 5 -15 minutes, death in 20-50.
--  Thanotogast’s Suicide Methods

As soon as the sun departs the house
At five in the afternoon
He deposits and seals in an amber jar
Another pale-blue moon.

He places the jar on the cabinet shelf
And swivels the handle tight;
Pockets the key in his terrycloth robe
And sits and waits for night.

He can hear the grandchildren crowing below,
Awash in their video games;
He tries for a time to assemble their faces,
And say a few of their names.

But he can’t recall how many he has,
Or what their small fantasies are,
Or why their mothers and fathers have come
To put his clothes in the car.

He careens on the edge of a desperate thought,
A glimmer from where he's been—
But he doesn’t remember the amber jar
Nor the moons crumbling within.

~ initially published in First Things