“After a long battle”
Days shrink with darkness and chilblain rain.
We crawl on black ice, car slams into car,
as in love gone mad.
This much I swear: I will not be losing a long
battle to cancer. You will not hear those words
spoken at my grave.
We have sung, beating out rhythms on chests
and thighs, but such words are vain.
And now and now I wonder how I will die.
I don’t mind the thought. Why listen
to imitations of hope on the radio?
I’m stuck inside a corpse inside a situation
inside an accident. Still I look for crevices
without touching this bruise I can neither
harvest nor glean. I wait with good cheer
to make my escape to a corner of the heavens
where I will seek lost magic. There are no more
tests to take. The past has swallowed all futures.
I will eat my portion of seed corn before
I depart. Still I wonder. Shouldn’t the body
disappear at death?