Bibelot, Steve Deutsch

Yours was not
an easy death.
Ampules of morphine
lined the icebox shelves

amid the chaos of beer bottles
and rancid cheese.
How many who wished you
that unremitting pain,

would have paid
to hear you scream?
I did not stay
for your final performance,

inheriting as a consolation
a box of unpaid bills
and odds and ends
of your torturous life.

One was the amulet
you wore around your neck.
You were never without it,
and I searched for an inscription—

some relic of youthful kindness,
some touch of tendered love—
realizing at last it was just a piece
of street junk

you nailed a hole in
and wore to ward off—
what?
I wear it now.

Shabby and worthless?
Yes.
Yet,
it feels just right.

*

Over the past two years, Steve Deutsch’s work has appeared in over 2 dozen journals. He was nominated for Pushcart Prizes in 2017 and 2018. His Chapbook, “Perhaps You Can,” was published in 2019 by Kelsay Press. His full length book, Persistence of Memory will be published in September, again by Kelsay Press.

Steve Deutsch recommends “The Lanyard” by Billy Collins.

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