Poem 276 ± March 6, 2016

Michael Mackin O’Mara
from Friends and Lovers

Douglas Austin Kendall 1957-1993

I can’t remember how or when we met
I know it was in college and I remember you
in a couple of decades in at least three or four towns
we were the weed smoking, shroom brewing, long hairs
canoeing the Hillsborough, Ochlockonee, and Loxahatchee
slam dancing clubs that were desperately chasing anarchy

you main-lined Richard Hell & Polly Styrene & Giant Ants from Space,
and found the too-much-for-my-mirror girl who dubbed you Doug-lette
and preferred her brew poured over our heads to drinking it
we came from Planet Claire while we cruised the hills of Tally
a murder of us in your Dad’s discarded Newport Coupe

in time we lost both Sly and Onka, the only time I saw you cry
and donned the three button suit of Monday through Friday 9 to 5
you led me by the rope around my throat
back from the unnatural disasters of my quaking mind

that night you asked what happens when we die
that’s easy, I said, the universe cradles our atoms forever, apologizing
for the rippling cause and effect we’ll never comprehend

you leave me the cold sun’s pink breath on the still water
gray that steeps as deeply into river as into sky


Michael Mackin O'MaraMichael Mackin O’Mara lives and works in West Palm Beach, Florida. He studied creative writing at the University of South Florida under Hans and Ilse Juergensen, who were the first to publish his work (in the journal Gryphon). Recent work has appeared in the journal Silver Birch Press. Michael is a long time member of the Beach Road Poetry workshop and has performed his poetry at various venues in Florida with his workshop mates.

This poem is not previously published.