The Devil You Know, Or The Devil You Don’t Know

Our blooming dead
scratch free from winter
ground, through a topsoil of candy wrappers
faded from the elements, soda cans,
rotting apples, leaves
like soggy cereal, and pebbles placed
just so – as if a convenience just for
cigaratte disposal.
Brittle, dirty nails brush aside
the flaky crust
of frost, countless years
of bickering spouses, sorrow
diluted with the tears of strangling grief,
and the struggle
to begin again
and again.

Our New Grief,
made fool by Prozac,
and Wellbutrin.

Our New Grief, wrapped
in the pink tissue paper
of Xanax.

Graciously, we’ve softened
the camera lens
on grief.

Death, you are nothing
if not fair.
Great Equalizer, you take them all.
Equal Opportunist, Politically
Correct, you collect
regardless of race, class,
gender, sexual orientation,
religion. You will not be bribed or bought,
refuse advances, blow jobs offered
in backs of cars, you cannot
sell your soul to the devil. You won’t
resign, call in well, take a holiday,
a sick day off. Who would you spend it with?
It’s a lonely time, your only friends,
the abandoned, starved, defeated,
resigned.

Our dead are in bloom, I’ve seen
them, squishing upward through summer
soil, keeping company with worms
and fruit flies. You can hear them
fucking, they are fertile, multiplying
voraciously, climbing up
on time, sister on brother, father
on mother, hip bone on jaw bone
on femur. We know the song
by heart. Born to die and they
love us so much, our pulses lulling, promising,
throbbing rhythmically. The living
are so sexy, familiar
current ceasing compression
relenting ricochet –
finally!
we throw off all that weight!
escaped
through some tiny godsend – a timely crack
in the coconut shell
of the human body.


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