IN THE CEMETERY

DEVIN KELLY

 
 

In the cemetery where I worked      there was no dearth of names     The unknown I longed
for      The shovel used to exhume a body      does not need to be the same         as the one
used      to bury the dead      What you lost       not always        what you want to bring back
Too much light     can be a blinding     a marbled cancer      spreading even across the grass
I’m trying to find life       in the overlooked         Here a leaf        bristling the gnaw        of a
horse’s open mouth        A fly batted backwards          by wave of tail        This man walking
the long trail of between-the-stones       like a dancer       after having given up      twisting
through the still limbs of other bodies       watching the rest of the show       I once saw the
long-since-chiseled tomb       of a man named George       growing crooked out a tree       If
you don’t believe a man can change in life           do you believe in death’s potential         to
make a man a seed       A word on the wind       The bruise on your thigh       turning yellow
as it disappears           What I mean is         I slept those nights         dreaming white a horse
that pulled an empty wagon through tall grass       It stopped once      bent its beaten brow
while a blade wiped the sweat from that space atop its eyes      then glistened     Here I am
now       thinking of death         as a litany of stones      running beautiful through the miles
After lunch           I often walked alone          along the rows         to guess the names of the
unknown         There was a way          I wanted to place my hand          to sing a death alive
make real the disappearance       before it disappeared again       I never figured it out        I
know a dancer now       She could teach me this       How life can be the soft-step of a waltz
How it can be the stubbing of a toe       How what ruptures rhythm        is just as important
as what keeps its time          Here is a George         Here is a John            Here is the way we
hardly know anyone          then place them in the ground          Pick an apple from this tree
Bite into it       That bruise on your thigh       Has it disappeared       Good      Neither have I
There are horses here      It is very pretty       Have you finished your apple     Good      They
will want a bite

 

 
 

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