Friday, December 21, 2012


The thieves of children are velvet tongue'd, bright
as tigers, sticky sweet. These doctors with
terrible wings, blacker than a crawlspace, their teeth
white as cherry flowers, lemon-drop sour
stones and string, pocket knives, candy and toys

They say, "come away past the hedge, streetlights are
dropping light", they smile with stained lips curling.
Their eyes are bone and marble white, cave blind.
Their hands softly furred, cracked nails dirt black rind
This one's throat is a well, a car's locked trunk.

They sing, all cancer and milk, copper, lead
and unctuous charm, gravestone teeth in neat rows.
There is no one death, but deaths and deaths and
myriad deaths so thick and numberless
they blot the moon with the shadow of birds.

Each day the doors of the houses open
Something hangs beneath the sidewalk, waiting
Something stands at the red light, in the wood
An armada of boats in black crepe wait.
Their impatient ferrymen play at dice

Let us make a bargain, old bony death.
You may rend me from my bones like paper
Let my cadaver come to its red end.
Pass over these bright and laughing ones that
crowd my house, the ones who do not know.

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