Less of You – Tricia Dearborn

for Kerry Leves

Your tooth-grinder’s ragged grin
is still so you
I’m surprised to learn walking’s

one of those pleasures
you’ve had to forsake for good.
I notice the frailness of your arms.

Each time I walk down Oxford Street
there’s less of you.

But you share my caramel mud cake,
eat your half with relish.
Shout with sudden laughter

when – fishing for gossip –
I declare myself a story whore.
I won’t forget you

reading ‘Poppies in July’ aloud
with the breath you had left.
Repeating each stanza over and over

until I sneakily herded you on.
Saying you didn’t remember it being
so long.