Three Exorcisms

They laid him out in state, on a Tuesday-

With a rosy blush that never graced those pale

cheeks

And the softening sparkling eyes fast closed.

The wife beside him, he supposes he’s

The chief mourner. Not widowed, but close.

A cold fish, his friend had called her-

In a drunk and unwise moment, not so frequent,

these days.

Her hand is limp on his arm. Her smile is damp.

Deep breaths now. Slow. Deep breaths.

 

I am rolling cigarettes from buts in a false-dark room

With schizophrenic beats dropping heavy, from those ridiculous speakers

Like in prison, Mike says. You must waste nothing.

Not the tiniest bit,

Not ever.

A man died today. In this faded glow,

Made hellish by those old fashioned red curtains,

I feel this great relief, one I’ll never admit to.

 

She has visitors every Thursday, from five to seven-

That’s when she laughs, that awful empty sound.

She must control it, she claims, because the spirits

Are in the intonation,

Control it,

Cheek-flesh-and-tongue-between her yellow teeth.

A voice in perfect A-flat minor.

What do you get, if you drop a piano down a shaft?

Ha-ha.

Ha-ha.

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