Sunday, April 12, 2009

Deathshead Revisited

I've only seen one being die in person. In August of '88, my two best friends asked me to leave Austin and come live with them in Fort Worth. Their mother had been diagnosed with cancer a few months earlier, but they didn't know she was dying. We all lived in the same apartment. She died in September, after having been in Arizona for treatment, then being flown back to Fort Worth to die. The below poem isn't kind, but it's indicative of the horror that I felt as a witness to her chaotic death.


DEATHSHEAD REVISITED

day breaks
down in dirt defined as
coffins closing clods of
dun in fingers clenched to
intertwine each windowful of sun into some
heat-sustaining seed of distance
shrivelled from a bloom outlasting
blazing tubes endured through rippled
pain-illuminated rooms but still no clue
to what is now a baying bitch
by moon-sucked beach each
ebb-spawned cure beyond her
bed of water's streamlined
reach

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