from A Gone Body

some men by a company gun. some by the venom of a timber
snake. some at the hands of a scoundrel. some men
from a stubbornness of faith and some from the dumb luck
of livery work. but always, always, with the left behind
task of saying: here is
a tourniquet. here, the pipe part of a pipe.
here is a whole mess of buckshot. here is a jar, full-up with coins.

here is a throwaway razor. here are throwaway glasses. here,
Veronica Lake, un-humbled
by the dark recess of a drawer. here is unexplained
and some time ago. here is a record of
vaccinations, an almost-done
sweetheart letter, a copied out prayer.
here is the dust that clothed a fiddle. here is a skyline scanned for crows.

here is a list compiled in youth: skunk tree, pecker tree,
father’s arms, tree of up to no good. here
is a list revised: hackberry, blighted
and mercifully scorched, white ash,
county seat of starlings.
here is an inkwell and here is a picture of three boys,
each wearing the black, leather boots of a much older man.

here is a gone body. here is the company he keeps:
Sunday suit, morsel of whalebone
he reckoned good luck.
here is a pending quarrel over remnants,
a singing voice doing what it can with a psalm.
here is discontent with the pale
of a shadow. here is a wishing that things had been otherwise.

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