A Cemetery Scrawl, Like Litter in the Wind


Zombie in sweatpants jogging in the ghetto
arms stuck out lean and mean
cold soles slapping the greasy street
and my little girl thought she had just escaped
from the cylinder, the bilingual,
the catastrophic farm of listless stones
the graveyard
a cold and misty day
cold and teary and smelling of sludge
who was to judge
the importance of the non-potable headache
swimming in my tender sockets
man, I am a rambling’
like some loose-geared jalopy on the old road,
but I found a letter to the dead
full of things left untold

I and my two cases of flesh and blood
we stormed the dam
doodled in the cool, green waters of some lake that is really a pond,
but in an area where water is practically non-existent
even a pinprick of piss is considered a lake,
but we clambered the slick geometrical stone
the water skimming off the surface
flushed through the portals
and we shook on our balances
feeling the fluttery wings in our bellies
as we did ballet on the precipice of the sun in our eyes
clutching hands
skipping stones
hopping logs
and life was a memory of ice cream
dripping down sticky baby faces
and now they were being brave and curious
and interested in the lives of the dead


We climbed a hill
shagged it rotten
like cotton candy
between the legs of an angel
and at the top of the hill
we found a flat, gravely place
I wanted to name the place Ashley
because it looked burnt and turned over
and all that remained was the ashes of destruction
and great piles of tumbled trees
and mountains of unraveled gravel
and off behind us was a fence
a chain-link fence topped with rusting barbed wire
and beyond the fence
acres of dead —
it was a cemetery
and the fence encircling it
was cluttered with the debris
of loved ones’ tokens,
tokens of love
tokens of regret
plastic and paper flowers
rolling in the wind
candied tumbleweeds smashed against the wire
and in this lot called Ashley
I found a letter
in a plastic bag
and the words were intact
and all a hush fell about my brood
as I began to read to them
this letter to the dead


It was a mom speaking to a daughter
and from the letter I gathered
the daughter’s life had come to an end
in a most tragic way
suicide it seemed
perhaps gunfire
or violence extreme
and in the letter
the mother was very weepy
very weepy and full of regrets
regrets, weeping and wondering why
why? why? why? dear daughter
why did you have to die
so, I felt kind of bad
that this piece of weepy sad writing
was like litter in an open field
and my youngest slice of flesh and blood
my youngest elixir of greed and breed
wanted to comb the graveyard
to find the stone
of the girl in the letter
but there was only a first name —
SHARON
and how could I find one Sharon in a field of thousands of dead
and so, I simply put the letter
still encased in its plastic
over the edge of the fence
believing the wind would carry it back,
back to the place it belongs
and we felt better for that
and we carried on with our journey
watching the jogging zombie sweat through her velour
and the world smelled dirty
and the sky was gray
and Sharon was free
and so were we


Your thoughts?