You told me you had once
made love to a redwood tree,
and I didn’t doubt it for a moment.
You, last of the Beats, still had the strut
of Kerouac, and sang to the boys
as I imagine Whitman must have done
walking the infirmary halls of the Union.
You knew no distinction between Christ
and Calliope, all was catholic, all
became rosary as we received communion
from our bartender priest,
a Eucharist of beer
thicker than any shed blood.
If I had been able to discern
what you so often muttered
around stories of Auden and Yeats,
I would bury those words with you,
commit your loves to the ground.
Jeremiah Webster has published work in North American Review, Beloit Poetry Journal, Ruminate Magazine, Rock & Sling, Blue Canary, and The Midwest Quarterly. He teaches literature and writing in the Pacific Northwest.