fetal atop our gasping chasm, terrorized by contagion as her
body first cooled, then rotted—feeding scavengers that feast
on those who succumb, in pairs, to terminal somnambulism.
What a numb shock to awaken in a Faulkner tale, shivering
bloody-soled to read an obituary penned in my own hand,
wondering whether I’d confessed to murder or apathy, and
how it is that the departed still steals the covers every night.
All that remained was evidence, a sack of skin and sawdust,
infectious by its sterility—and then there’s me, up too early
on Sunday, resurrected by the clash and clangor of cartoons
because corpses never remember to close the goddamn door.
The sheets still boast the stain of glacial violence underneath
the blackened scar of a pyre, the sleep-sick discolorations of
a reluctant and superfluous rebirth; they are witness to death
as conception, silence as gestation, disintegration as nativity.
They make a fine shroud in which to swaddle myself while
her accusing ghost looks on, amused at my sentence, and that
her deathbed has birthed a babe of indecently advanced age,
gnawing through its cord with teeth grown long and loose.
(first appeared in volume 2 of Constellations)