What Consumed You
Hot wax for your wild boar sculpture
that you melted in my favorite sauté pan.
The metallic smell of your sweat.
Fine redwood shavings
caught in the curly hairs of your muscled arms.
“What is your favorite part of his body?”
a friend once asked––
a strange question.
It was your forearms.
You were a beautiful man.
“Nice legs,” a woman leaving a restaurant in St. Paul
once remarked to you, as we were entering.
“Bernice,” her husband expostulated.
“Well, they are,” she answered.
They were a bicyclist’s legs,
my second favorite part.
When they came to take you,
“What a waste––” I thought,
“that body consigned to flame––”
but appropriate to an artist
who had fired glass and clay and bronze
to join in the kiln all the beauty he had created from it.
When potter friends
asked for a cup of your ashes
for the glaze for your funereal urn,
that is how,
finally, you became
the art you lived for.
The idea was to make ten of these seed-shaped urns to divide my husband Bob’s ashes into–one for each of Bob’s eight kids, his sister and me. A larger pea pod shaped tray was to enclose them all, but it blew into a hundred pieces in the kiln of our friends Dan and Laurie, who were making it. I guess it was an appropriate metaphor, for Bob was the one who brought us all together and he was now gone. Somehow, I wound up with eleven urns, so after Bob’s kids and sister came to Mexico to collect their ashes to distribute wherever they wished and we deposited the ashes designated to me in Lake Chapala, I wound up with one empty urn and one filled partially with the remains of Bob’s ashes. I always thought the empty one was for me, but when I knocked over the one with Bob’s ashes in it a few years ago, we gathered him up so he now resides in my urn and I am unattached in the after life, at least for now. The little urn in the foreground is all that is physically left of Bob. In the background is a bronze nude that is one of hundreds of sculptures, art lamps and vases that he seeded the world with before he left it. R.I.P. Bob. Much of you remains in this world.
This is my poem for today’s prompt. To see it and/or participate, go here: http://www.napowrimo.net/day-sixteen-3/