“Amaranth” by Gary Lechliter

Gary Lechliter


When she refused her medication
furniture flew around the house,
books on suicide were scattered
around, pantyhose covered her face.
When she refused her medication
whisky stained the tablecloth,
the telephone was never answered,
black mascara caked her eyebrows.
The police took her to Osawatomie
the day after she tried to water
love-lies-bleeding with piss;
which wouldn’t have been such
a big deal if she hadn’t been raving
in the city park, if the amaranth
hadn’t died, if nobody had seen
her squat to pee in front of God
and the heat-mad lovers.
When she came home I went
to see her, but she didn’t know me.
She couldn’t recall that I loved
her once, forty years ago, that we
skinny-dipped in the Verdigris River.
Young and futile, our teenage
love drifted with the current.

from Rattle #24, Winter 2005

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