September 9, 2013

Nightshirt. {Poem} ~ Adam Byrn Tritt

For the first few weeks,

once I would return to the bed,

I’d lie on my side

arm on your pillow

your nightshirt tucked

under my cheek,

One of the few pieces of your clothing

I kept. The body is a just a shell

You said. But your lab coat,

the suit you wore to your graduation,

your nightshirt.

The one you wore to hospice.

The one you were comforted in,

the one, the last one.

Your favorite,

cornflower blue

Bamboo fiber,

soft and light,


the scent of you

still smooth upon the it,

the smell of your skin-

the gentleness of

the small of your back,

the familiar comfort

between your breasts

where I would rest my cheek,

the collar that still

carried the nape of your neck.

Each breath, a calmative

against the cruelty

of the sudden solitary sleep,

the life a brain that was built around

your existence




And, sometimes, I would sleep

and sometimes not,

but over the days,

the scent diminished,


like your ability to walk,

speak, see, remember,

until little was left and

fearing its loss,

as I still fear yours,

I put it in a plastic bag,

removed the air, closed it tight,

put it away in the dark.


A perfume, almost gone,

of days past,

that brings a flush or joy,

a smile, a sigh,

that, for fear of being used up,

isn’t used at all.


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Assistant Editor: Leace Hughes/Ed: Sara Crolick

{photo: courtesy of Photodropper}

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swati jr* Sep 10, 2013 11:39am

Yes. Exactly. Thank you.

Lisa Harrington Sep 9, 2013 10:58pm

I don’t have words

Erika Sep 9, 2013 6:43pm

This was absolutely beautiful. Thank you.

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Adam Byrn Tritt

Adam Byrn Tritt is an international bestselling and award winning poet, essayist, screenwriter, teacher, social activist and humorist. Tritt is the author of The Phoenix and the Dragon: Poems of the Alchemical Trans­form­ation, several works of nonfiction, Tellstones: Runic Divination in the Welsh Tradition; and his newest book, the delightful (and slightly disturbing) Bud the Spud.

His newest collection of essays, creative non-fiction and poetry, Yom Kippur as Manifest in an Approaching Dorsal Fin, has been written of in literary circles and in scholarly journals on religion and biblical translation.

Adam won the 2006 EPPIE Award for Poetry in an Anthology, and his first children’s book, Bud the Spud, won the P&E Award for best Children’s Book of 2012. In 1995 he was awarded an honorary doctorate for his work in religious tolerance and for the creation of TurningPoint, a nonprofit program providing alternative medicine to low-income individuals. He continues that passion today in the healthcare clinic he and his wife, Lee, dreamed of and created together—the Wellness Center.

He is equally at home speaking in lecture halls, giving public readings in bookstores, and visiting elementary school classrooms, where he can be found surrounded by children begging him to read Bud the Spud just one more time (while their parents and teachers beg him to stop).

Adam lives and writes—often simultaneously—in Palm Bay, Florida, with a dingo, and a ridiculously large alligator, all under a very big tree. You can find his stimulating blog—mostly essays, creative non-fiction and poetry—at www.adamtritt.com