Serving House: A Journal of Literary Arts
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SHJ Issue 13
Fall 2015

Death of a Friend

by Sarah Lucy (26 April 2015)

Is that even English?
—Steve Kowit

I wanted these words to be perfect
And funny and precise
I wanted no frills
I wanted jeans with a rip in the crotch

But how do I find something so rare
You were a pair of well-worn shoes
Whose comfort cannot be replicated

You were that rock pigeon on my window sill
Whose eyes looked like your eyes
Just after you’ve said something
Thunderously funny
And you’re wondering
If you’ve gone too far
But of course you haven’t
You’ve pierced into the matter
With a sharp and sensitive knife
You’ve cut out the frilly words
And thrown them skywards
Leaving behind
A sparse line of clarity

Your voice was like a ride on the subway
Punctuated with a pointed finger
And covered with a smile
That could have charmed a raging bull

You were that raging bull with a heart so big
The Empire State Building bowed down to you
The Staten Island Ferry jumped a ramp for you
The Hudson River flowed backwards for you

And San Diego got down on its knees to you
And you blessed us

Bless us one more time, Steve Kowit
Bless our notebooks full of empty rhyme
Bless our broken pencils and inkless pens
Bless the paper that holds our words
And burns in the San Diego sun
And bless our sorrowing hearts


SHJ Issue 13
Fall 2015

Sarah Lucy

lives and works in La Jolla, California, and has recently begun to write poetry again. She feels grateful for having the chance to know Steve Kowit and to learn from his humor and intellect.

“...we have been born here to witness and celebrate. We wonder at our purpose for living. Our purpose
is to perceive the fantastic. Why have a universe if there is no audience?” — Ray Bradbury