obituary

there are fragments of you here

 

like the can of tomato paste

 

that came in the meal kit 

 

that you brought over

 

one night

 

(it wasn’t a good night,

 

but it was a night with you

 

so now it’s part of our mythology,

 

something i’d like to index)

 

and in my shower drain, 

 

your hair has tangled

 

around the chain for the tub stopper—

 

stubborn debris

 

and i still haven’t re-laced 

 

the skate shoes i was wearing 

 

when you lied and had me arrested

 

the cops unlaced them 

 

before putting me in the holding cell 

 

for an hour or two

 

i guess it was to prevent me 

 

from killing myself

 

but the joke’s on them:

 

i take the subway ads that call

 

suicide a preventable tragedy

 

as a challenge

 

either way, i wore the shoes home that night

 

unlaced, on july 7th, 2020

 

when it felt like i could just 

 

keep walking forever

 

and wanted to

 

and 

 

and it’s october 6th now,

 

and “rock legend eddie van halen has died”

 

i’ve been thinking about using that headline

 

as a non sequitor in a poem

 

ever since the news of his death broke 

 

earlier today

 

there are lots of articles coming out 

 

all about how “rock legend eddie van halen 

 

has died”

 

and i think that the end 

 

of whatever it is we had

 

deserves at least as many articles 

 

as there are about how “rock legend eddie van halen 

 

has died”

 

journalists should be accosting us

 

for interviews

 

to ask each of us about 

 

the other

 

i’d say, “she’s a bitch”

 

you’d say, “he’s an alcoholic”

 

and

 

those would be fragments, too

Bio:

Josh Sherman is a Toronto-based writer. His fiction and poetry has appeared in Back Patio Press, Hobart, X-R-A-Y Literary Magazine, and many others. His debut collection of poems and stories, CHARM REDUCTION, is forthcoming on Gob Pile Press in late-2022. Follow him on Twitter @joshxsherman.