Cherry Pie

I remember
a cup of sugar
half a lemon
dark red cherries in
a crust of pain
crumbly falling into a
hellish oven fired
like she told me, 375

In search of peace, I
pray to forget the pain
remember a fragment
a recognizable fondness
without stains baked in

Because in blood
she’s gone, I’ve
dreamt of her
flying through the windshield
unsheathed grief a steel shard
poking in the night, bladed
blame stabbing me, I’ve

fallen asleep too much,
letting her wiggle back
into my bed with
screams driven
around the maple
red syrup on pancaked body
splayed from brave speeding guts
driving death too slowly for agony,
her nerves still alive
for howling pain
mourning for morning
in heaven, but

she waits in dreams
because
she’s gone
not far

Awake,
I still look for her
charming me like
all the times we
drank together just
fooling around

Steer me to insomnia
and don’t tell me
I shou’n’t ‘ve been
driving around
fallen leaves of
growing blame

I am innocent though
I hear her cries as
I pull green leaves,
rake others,
a chore I take to stay awake, yet
mangled words I hear from
green veins turned red rustlers
stealing steel hearts to rust

I can’t drive this hell
away from the tree,
because
she was
smashed
in a pulp
novel dream
all real

Lord, I’ve
dreamt of her
because
she’s gone

Don’t let me listen to her songs
booming my soul sorry ways
down

Down the road to regrets remembered:
my friends who died in battle
like period clumps the size of Seattle,
because of these
I must eat pie and beer suds,
cherry filling that looks like blood,
the sting cherries like sudsy guts

I must rest
in a restaurant
slicing beef filet
like dicing shrapnel
from hell that beats
down fox hole hearts
in cherry rivers heat. These
pie marks stain the brain
though gaining ghosts
have no beef with me,
as I was brave then
to try to save them and me,
but I will desert dessert

Too sweet
a lie
that life
is like a pie
thrown out of a disco
by me
gin high on despair,
falling in snow, cutting my hands
on ice crystals, watching the Angel of Death
seized by her anti-muses
dancing her mocking prelude
to my own booming grief
death amused
by lean harvests of thought and
lost jobs

I dream of her in song
because she’s gone

Because I will not sell
my boom box for food, away
from boom times
I’ll dance into sadness. Fresh batteries
will let me live. I will

dance north past the winter wheat
into the cold, to the arctic. If

not stolen in silence
my music soul will dance
me, murky joy forward
pumping bends thrusted
stamping, panting moans
spin tapping down the up
beating soul bursts
desperate to express a
tone of noise splashing. I will
not die laughing wet
when batteries are gone. I will
die dancing
an old Eskimo
parading on ice flows,
horns of mortality played
strings strummed, no
chords encore
chafing from chaff
inedible
—- Douglas Gilbert
(Henry Le Châtelier)

Poetry Books By Douglas Gilbert