Dear Baudelaire; Or Goodbye To A Mother

Dear Baudelaire,
the Flowers you sent were lovely, dear
and what a coincidence
that I found you that year.
She was laid out, stretched
she was gripped and infected with death
and with jaundiced eyes did she
plead warmth and comfort
from me.

Oh well you know
how the grave can leap up
and swallow
like your Muse, stringing pearls
around her
drops
the string unstrung
unravels the beautiful flesh
of a life half done.
What decay macerates
her then kaolin skin
and cruel witnesses
scattered jeweled ash to the wind.

She had lips like soft petals
she had, once, turned every heart
Had sifted through men
turned them over like cards
She had once, long before
played a sweet Sirens part.
(Perhaps she hoped she could convince
even Death to love her?)

Dear Baudelaire,
your words left
testify for me.
You also watched
Decay like a wolf take down Beauty.
I held her body slack
when cancer used it
filled it like a sack
every cell one by one
turned and betrayed
to the tide of black sickness
when her body gave way.
Oh I held her, yes
stroked her face
and her countenance reflected
that desolate place,
that vacuous, virulent and putrified space.

And despite the moist
odor of Cancer on lips
I leaned in, pressed hard
leaned in close for the kiss
How say I Goodbye?
sixty-two sixty-two
yet inside still a child?

Dear Baudelaire
you were right, truthfully
about the Flowers
and how much like
your Beloved dying was she
Consumption
and Cancer
and we...
solemn swore on graves
like mountains.

The heart dies hard
when one loses a lover
But the Gods, Nature-bound
only give us
one mother.

by Virginie Guillemette

Other poems of GUILLEMETTE (16)

Comments (1)

Baudelaire would have been drunkenly proud- He is the best, I think, but you are very good too! Thanks for leaving me the nice comment as well....