If he wasn't waiting for someone,
then what? Then what?
What do you say to the neighbor
who swore she heard him coughing
(crying, maybe) only yesterday?
How do you explain the fact
the mail disappeared from his box
every week? Who paid his bills?
More importantly, how do you think
of him as he went? Violently,
clutching his heart, choking
tight fists of air? Or gently, by a fire,
nodding off to sleep as if he were agreeing
with the night, agreeing
with the empty room, agreeing
with whatever the awful silence
must surely have revealed.
Copyright © 2002 Jamie Wasserman
Jamie Wasserman's poetry and fiction have appeared in Exquisite Corpse, Weber Studies, Flesh and Blood, Vampire's Dan Story Emporium, Magma, Clay Palm Review, frisson, and dozens of others. His poem "Why I Believe in Ghosts" received an honorable mention from the 2002 Year's Best Fantasy and Horror anthology. For more about him, visit his website.