a sight, I suppose

raw-red flesh in the cornfield

picked over, contorted

it’s not her corpse, though

keep moving


and down the road,

the uniform hanging from the garage door

could appear, to the untrained eye,

a guy hanging himself with electrical wire

could appear suicide, suicidal

there’s no body here

keep moving


and they know, all the way from Leighton to Dorr

Wayland to Martin, to Plainwell

Hickory Corners through Orangeville

when a gentleman takes me to dinner

their first question, always

Does he drink? 

because the last one was rather saturated, rather wretched

and they know I’ve lived too many days tolerating it


Kalamazoo, I always thought, is where things go to die

maybe you think so now, too

an entire Friday in the hospital parking lot

waiting, anticipating, recollecting

poinsettias are winter funeral flowers

and knowing what dying looks like 

hurts, laying eyes on your mother afterwards

lost muscle tone, loose skin, spiritual exhaustion

knowledge used to be a goddamn blessing


I wear a blade on my hip

so everyone knows I’m more than a paper-cut

resurrected memories of semi-truck fatalities

was not what we dwelled on the other night

this sickness, without the paranoia is rather too much

and there was more trauma there than broken bodies, snapped necks

they do have something about their eyes, you’re right

a certain pallor to their cheeks, zygomatic arches

this is our disillusionment, I guess

in their eyes, you see Death is imminent

and I look at every amorous relationship, 

identifying what will sever it

everything has an expiration date

keep moving

we said

but some people just never do again

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