RA Washington at The Lit in Cleveland – photo by JB 

In Absentia

there is something perverse about this room
how it smells of nothing, a faint absence
as if the lived in was just a current despair.
the Russian novel for fools who do not listen.
to their Mothers, let alone in themselves.
drunks impressing the reader to bleed just right
without perspective, regret the odd nook
of a secret, a wish, a fondle, we miss.
the All in our mouths
sorrow, the shirt she left the one night.
so leaving has become the only lexicon.
and if I fail you toward this end, so wrought against All?
logic, my only keepsake.
passive, the way you leave.
never to say why I
shut off against your needs.
the faint of you, this room.
the faint of you, this room.

* * * * * * * *

“In Absentia” comes from RA Washington’s forthcoming book a night in the fair republic.

RA Washington Is a writer living and working on Cleveland’s west side with his wife, historian Lyz Bly.  He is the author of at least two dozen books — most recently the novel, Run Along, The FIRE Says — and he operates the bookstore/zine cooperative, Guide To Kulchur, in the Historic Detroit Shoreway neighborhood.   He also curates the electronic music label Cleveland Tapes.  Find him on twitter @clevelandtapes.