Elegy to Myself
in ASL gloss and English
Book not-yet written
Once write finish
Me ghost no more
Future my-name mean nothing
Me do-do now?
Dance-dance among friends-them alive still
Hug-hug fear none
Me die when
Friends-them cry-cry confess love-me?
My life so-far not great
Me ghost stuck books fade d-u-s-t will
Guts words nothing
|I am a book waiting to happen.
How my heart will break when it does.
I will flit through the air,
the old deaf bastard that I am,
leaving behind a trail of words
that evaporate the second
one closes a book of mine.
I will cease to be a ghost
and more a hollow name that does
not echo in the halls of time.
I will dance among the ones
I love who are still alive.
I will give them hugs that I couldn’t
give for fear of strange looks.
When I go, will they weep and reveal
too late how much they loved me?
My life makes for a lousy elegy.
I am a ghost trapped in books
that will surely fade to dust.
Trust me. Words are nothing.
Raymond Luczak is the author and editor of 22 books, including Flannelwood (Red Hen Press) and Lovejets: Queer Male Poets on 200 Years of Walt Whitman (Squares & Rebels). He lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and online at raymondluczak.com.