Autobiography · Poetry

No Ice

© Photography by Tanya De 2008.
© Photography by Tanya De, 2008.

Maybe I should just write poetry, I think.
As if saying more with less is easy
and words can make sense of
the ache still clinging to my chest.

Like we can sculpt emotions
out of a dictionary,
lay it out in front of us and say,
“Oh yes, now I see.”

It was like any other summer night
when we sat on the steps of my parents’ house.
Smoking Marlboro cigarettes and
drinking bourbon. No ice.

I didn’t know it was the
last time we’d be there
before you wandered
into the woods with a gun.

But I wonder if you did.
If, when we hugged good night,
you held on just a little tighter
than you would have otherwise.

What I’ve been trying to say is–
in poetry and empty howls to the universe–
“I’m sorry you didn’t know,
but I saw you. I did.”

24 thoughts on “No Ice

  1. “As if words…can make sense of the ache still clinging to my chest.” What do you do when words fail and the pain is still there? What do you do when there can never be a resolution? I would like to know, too. Words are failing me right now.


      1. You’re right, of course. It’s so frustrating, like beating your head against a wall. Thank you for showing again and again how to keep fighting on.


  2. Ruby, would you be okay if I shared this on Words for the Year sometime before the end of the year (like around the 28th)? It’s been stuck in my gut since reading. (I’ll link and credit and mention your book and all that jazz) xo, c-



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