runs his magazine like his life, golden heart & iron fist, fortified by glasses of whiskey & cold plates of mercury- laden fish in the small hours when magazine & life are most like finding yourself in a graveyard.
the darkness itself is out of context there & those names carefully graven into the heavy stones— they bear no relation to the bones beneath them becoming mud like poems lost in a frenzy of border crossings & sweat-stained t-shirts.
their widows, orphans & friends slog on some way, pausing to call with diminishing faith upon the undifferentiated stars for news of the the lamented, the loved one, the one who owes them money, whose songs, it’s possible, brought brief illuminations to the benighted dinner tables of winter.
from this angle it’s easy to think that the dead have no relation to the living— they are as gone as an eternity of yesterdays forgotten in the pages of a dusty bible, they never will speak the word that will return them to dance with beautiful girls, never will they enter a lover’s room under cover of night nor laugh with joyful malice at a wicked joke.
in the eastern widow a tomato ripens at its own pace; outside an old retriever waits panting for his human who approaches humming, swinging a bag of fresh beignets from the end of his murdering arm, whose soul is betrothed to the laughing spirit of eternity which glistens with young girls’ sweat, who then steals her chaste kisses in the back of a borrowed car confounded by hooks & straps, elbows & knees as the wordless moon, reflected in the river, skims across an oblique sky.
Todd Weissenberger, ©1995