Bobby the Lip

All day Facebook admonished me to help celebrate my friend Robert Lipton’s birthday, so I share this poem written in his memory. It was published in Silkworm, the annual review of Florence Poets Society, last year.

Sharing this makes me think about a lot of things, including (1) I wrote a poem with a word I can barely pronounce (paean) in Bob's honor (guffaw), (2) I hear his words in my head "Death, the great poetry prompt" as I listen to this, and (3) I miss Bob.

I pulled this fortune
the day you died:
  What is the distance
  between the eyes and the soul?
You know the answer.
How did you learn to pronounce
the hard words, which goddesses
are whom, the rhythm of line breaks?
We all listened. Did you know?
Your paean to women made me wish
such words were strung together
and hung on my limbs.
Now you travel that distance,
somehow we expect you to report back.
We will miss your soul, your lip.