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live at Waiting4the Bus at Café Ballou in Chicago 08/01/11
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of 3 death-related poems (including this one) live at Waiting4the Bus at Café Ballou in Chicago 08/01/11
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read 08/02/11, live at the Café in Chicago
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of her reading her death-themed poems 08/02/11You’ve Left Me on Siesta Beach” and “Death Takes Many Forms” at the Café in Chicago
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of the intro to the 08/02/11 open mic at the Café in Chicago, and her poems “You’ve Left Me on Siesta Beach” and “Death Takes Many Forms
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of Kuypers reading this poem at the open mike 4/25/12 at Gallery Cabaret’s the Café Gallery in Chicago (W/ by live piano music from Gary)
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of Kuypers’ open mike 4/25/12 at Gallery Cabaret’s the Café Gallery in Chicago, plus her poetry (w/ music from the HA!man of South Africa, and live piano from Gary)
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See YouTube video from 4/15/17 of Janet Kuypers reading a portion of her short story Crazy, then reading her poem you’ve left me on Siesta Beach at Austin’s “Recycled Reads(from a Sony camera).
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See YouTube video from 4/15/17 of Janet Kuypers reading a portion of her short story Crazy, then reading her poem you’ve left me on Siesta Beach at Austin’s “Recycled Reads(Canon psSX700 camera).
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See YouTube video of Janet KuypersJuly 2017 Book Release Reading 7/5/17, where she read her poems “Elephants Carry the World”, “Update 2011 on the Man who Loved Me”, “Under Constant Supervision” and “You’ve Left Me on Siesta Beach” for her “Revealed” book reading @ Austin’s Half Price Books Community Poetry (Lumix).
video video
See YouTube video of Janet KuypersJuly 2017 Book Release Reading 7/5/17, where she read her poems “Elephants Carry the World”, “Update 2011 on the Man who Loved Me”, “Under Constant Supervision” and “You’ve Left Me on Siesta Beach” for her “Revealed” book reading @ Austin’s Half Price Books Community Poetry (Sony).

you’ve left me
on Siesta Beach

Janet Kuypers
07/29/11

got a hotel
overlooking Siesta Beach
to see you

it was all
about sand and sun and fun
when we were together

but after
spending all night on the beach with you
last night

we argued
and I screamed at you to leave me alone
so you stormed away

I couldn’t tell
if you were defiant or dejected
when you left me at four a m

but when I got back
to my hotel overlooking the beach
I couldn’t sleep

I called your cell
at five a m
it jumped to your voice mail

at six I heard sirens
so I looked out my hotel window
overlooking the beach

and saw the lights
and two ambulances, and a crowd
circled at the shoreline

my God, I thought
it was just an argument, we’d be okay
it can’t be you

so I grabbed
my phone and my keys and ran
to the elevator

I stepped inside
and heard two people talking about
the unfolding news

I heard
“they found a man washed up on the beach,
he wasn’t in swim clothes

and he had no life vest,
so they think he committed suicide”
so... I ran

out of the elevator
as soon as those doors would open
sprinted to the beach

at the edge of the crowd
I dialed your number again, and again
no response

I glanced to my right
and saw EMTs and a gurney, with a
zipped body bag

I ran toward that body bag
a policeman stopped me, i begged
I said I may know the victim

so he brought me over to the EMTs
they said the man had no identification
I gulped

and said, I may know him

they looked at each other
and told me to be prepared
when they open the bag

I braced myself
then they slowly unzipped the bag
and I looked at his face

he was bloated
from being in the water so long
he was pale

from no blood curculating
and his eyes were wide open:
I mean, it’s not like the movies

where an actor
can press their fingers over the dead’s eyes
and the eyes then stay closed

they even used to put coins
over the eyes of the dead in the old days
so

his eyes were wide open
I stared back at his vacuous stare
then turned away

“I don’t know this man,”
I told the EMTs, and they asked me
if I was sure

“people look different
when they die out in the water like this,”
they told me

and I said,
“that’s not his eye color,”
and I walked away

now I wonder
what really died that day
since I never heard from you again


Copyright © 2011 Janet Kuypers.

All rights reserved. No material
may be reprinted without express permission.

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