Register Monday | September 24 | 2018

Contagion

A poem

Not in sleep but with her eyes open.
And then of course she died.
Had screamed not at her but for my son.
And I screamed I screamed as my son.
But I could not hear the words.
I could hear she said something.
As I myself was dying and she said nothing.
I know I was smiling as I spoke.
Without knowing one were right.
If rightness could be a source of joy.
It was in itself a virtue.
If being right brought joy if.
At last knowing she had been right.
How she felt if she was happy now.
As close to death as she I asked her.

---

My face everything right now in the telling.
I have not died the words still move across.
They are dead and though I call myself dead.
Like my own hands and face are.
By the feet into this field they were cold.
Cold when I touched them dragged them.
To keep their bodies which shivered in their heat.
Dry in the air now that there is no sweat.
Are black my wife’s skin my son’s.
The scent of death is black the sores.
And movements are based on smell.
And now that I cannot see my thoughts.
Into parcels memories I have lost.
Forgotten what I have done portioned.
The river and the nights I already have.
The earth to return and forget.
Beneath my back I would fracture.
If I could burrow into the dirt.

---

Though I was as close to death as she.
She never mentioned mine.
I was the cause for his death for hers.
I had brought it into our house.
She blamed me for everything.
Only cried she blamed me for.
I felt like screaming my wife.
Screaming whenever he screamed.
I was relieved to hear him stop.
My wife three days after.
I remember my son died first.
The dead dead we were cleared.
The town of the sick the dying.
By men in charge of clearing.
At the other side by the feet.
We had been pulled from the trees.

---

When she died.
When she died I was not there.
But her eyes were not on me.
My wife died with her eyes open.

---

In the stomach as nothing came out.
A jagged fire in the mouth and a knot.
The water more painful than its absence.
I knew I would not drink again.
The white scarf still in one hand.
Still in her arms even then.
To her open dead face our son.
And after drinking the water I returned.
She knew I hoped she died in pain.
I hoped she died in pain hoping.
And told my wife I hoped she died.
Of being killed so I left.
But the dying are not afraid.
Knew the river too was dying.
The house to find water.
My throat a fleshy burn I left.
Though forbidden to leave for any reason.
When she died I was at the river.

---

Or dead I would not touch me.
I would not touch me alive.
Away if I were not dead.
No one wants to take the bodies.
Is alive to take the bodies.
And no one came no one here.
I did not ring it for my wife.
For my son but no one came.
A body succumbs I rang this bell.
There is a bell to ring when.

---

Is here to carry it no one will hold the body.
And that body was mine and no one.
Away falling into the grass beneath it.
To the feeling a body is washing.
But now there is a softness.
In its presence during the night.
The pain almost glorious so familiar.
On my neck have not been drained.
Here the sores on my legs.
I feel nothing lying here I feel little.

---

A dog stepping from the trees.
The sun showing three bodies there.
And starving the grass of dew.
By the sun now risen above the trees.
In a field beneath the moon as it is replaced.
And become an else a handful of elses.
Stable there as they we lose composition.
The three bodies in the grass.
Is what is most difficult to hold down.
An attempt at truth when truth.

---

And steps into the trees at the other side.
Me it tugs at a boot pulls it off.
But when the dog touches its mouth to.
To those watching it from here.
When it reveals its blue scrapes.
Remain for the moon not to see.
And what will remain will anything.
Away pieces of my wife and son.
Take pieces of me what was me.
Dead and dead will I feel the teeth.
And wonder if I will be eaten.
Though it too is a feeling.
Hunger having nothing to do with emotion.
From fear from hunger anger.
From where I lie wonder if it will bite.
The dog now at my feet I see it.
Familiar image if not for the angle.
A dog from the trees a.

---

The moon could see it still would not care.
The moon cannot see and if.
In that field on the earth at dawn.
Does not care about the bodies there.
Into the grass beneath us and the moon.
And my wife my son and I were growing.
Even though the moon had not moved.
And tracking the sun coming over the trees.
Dead could not be anything but alive.
Where I could not be dead could not be.
As I was thinking to keep myself here.
The mouths there and perhaps thinking.
Breathing as I was the air above.
But knowing they were there.
Seeing them beside me on the ground.
Watching my wife and son without.
Instead of where I found myself.
Where death is not an is.
As if the thinking could bring me.
Though thinking through where I was.
I knew I had died and was dead.
I thought hung above each mouth.
To be breathing a fog of breath.
Beside my wife and son who seemed.
Beneath my back where I lay.
By the time the sun touched the grass.