Monday, April 13, 2009

the horrible is commonplace

Poor Mercy Brown, fresh in the grave
Was dragged out into the light
A rabbit grabbed by the heels
And kicking

She was still the ripe 19 year old farmgirl
When she was laid down with galloping consumption
Beside her mother and her sister
In Exeter Baptist churchyard
There was blood pooled wet in her heart

Her mother was a husk of dry leather
And her sister , too, a discarded shoe
In a wooden box
But Mercy Brown was radient in the dark
Her cheeks, a hectic bloom

For two months she had lain in the cold,
an unstruck match in a box
and Edwin, her brother
back from the dry climates to die
was sick

and the family and the village gathered round
looking for a marvel

surely only a bloodfat tick
would lay in the dark
and drink poor George Brown’s family down
surely there is something... unnatural

So in March, when the ground was soft
they pulled her from the dark
and found her turned over, a restless sleeper
her liver still filled with liquid blood

and in 1892, the year that Ellis Island opened
the year that General Electric was founded,
they cut out her heart
in the year that Edison patented the two-way telegraph,
they burned her heart to ashes
In the year of the birthday of Carnegie Steel
They fed the ashes of her burnt heart to her brother
Who died, regardless, two months later
Leaving George Brown alone

Later that year, a hidden lake burst from the side
Of a mountain, killing 200 holiday guests
The city of St Johns burned to the ground

And in Fall River, Massachussets
Poor Andrew Jackson and Abby Durfee Borden
were found, their heads burst like rotted pumpkins
and their bodies laid out
as if they were sleeping

this too, is an age of monsters

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