They laid him out in state, on a Tuesday-
With a rosy blush that never graced those pale
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,
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,
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,
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?