Lynne Savitt

Giving up the Ghost

 for a.m.

did you get the card for the memorial
our friend, noel, “celebration of a life
most thoughtfully lived” what will they
say about us i ask you as we raise
martini glasses & light a joint looking
at photos of all our old lovers eleven
boxes in the decades we’ve known each
other’s lovers cowboys, convicts, poets,
professors, artists, mechanics, doctors,
chefs, motorcycle racers, an indian chief
& an actor we never thought this day would
come as you are to the service for once
illuminating beauty but dulled by wind &
sun mapped faces once juicy as our sex lives
now dry as feet we cream with aloe & shea
butter me up with kind words praising a life
of thoughtless pursuit & dwindling resources
oh, but the sweet memory & exaggeration of
love lies in stories bloated purple with details
how gentle & obsessed he was, how virile &
devoted our tales become classic swill but
our mirrors don’t lie look at us corpses in
training big red smears for mouths never
close the coffin & sing me a dirge wrap me
in gold flecked red velvet use movie camera
to capture event i promise if you go first i’ll
take the sea green tulle & sequined scallop
shells float you on a gardenia covered kayak
either way, sweet pal, don’t let the legends
fade crying old lovers pulled from graves &
life to mourn us most dramatically queens
of poetry & passion may we live forever

**This poem was originally published by New York Quarterly Press


Lynne Savitt studied with Diane Wakoski in the early seventies and subsequently taught writing workshops at various colleges, community centers and prisons. Her first poem was published in Playgirl magazine in 1974. Over the years her poems have appeared in dozens of literary magazines, including 13th Moon, Second Coming, Home Planet News, and Poetry Now. She has been a featured poet online from Desolation Angels and Rusty Truck. She was the recipient of the Madeline Sadin Poetry Award from the New York Quarterly. She co-founded and edited Gravida and co-edited Caprice and was also a contributing editor to Redstart and StonyHills. Savitt has twelve published poetry collections. Born in Brooklyn, New York in 1947, she is a single parent of two children and grandmother of seven. She resides on eastern Long Island.