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The Names


What can you say

to the dead? You

tell them what they’re

missing, which is life,

and what you’re missing,

which is them.


Nature Boy,

trombone, bass,

B’way-Lafayette station,

evening, winter.

Where you been

all this time?

from To the RiverFind more by Michael O’Brien at the library

Copyright © Michael O’Brien
Used with the permission of Flood Editions.

Published in Michael O'Brien Poems

This program is supported in part by a grant from the Idaho Humanities Council, a State-based program of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this (publication, website, exhibit, etc.) do not necessarily represent those of the Idaho Humanities Council or the National Endowment for the Humanities.