“After Words” by Joseph Somoza

I open your book of words
to any page
and begin reading,
though, now, you too
are dead like the others,
another dead writer.
There’s no way
I’d be able to find you
in New York, and,
over coffee, ask you
what you meant,
where you were,
when you wrote that.
The words
have to make do
on their own now,
which is what you hoped for
in the first place
when setting them down—
ball-point in hand
in your study, looking
out at the street
through upper-story windows,
probably wondering where
you might go walking
afterwards.

Joseph Somoza retired from college teaching some years ago to have more time for writing.  He’s published ten books and chapbooks of poetry over the years, most recently AS FAR AS I KNOW (Cinco Puntos Press, 2015).  He lives in Las Cruces with wife Jill, a painter.

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