How Death Got His Start
this lullaby in my head this morning
in those moments flashing
between sleeping stupor and awake:
Roses are red, blood is like red, red is red, my roommate is dead.
The police don't like me, I can tell, I told
The sweetly cold wall on my face for a moment or two, my mouth
it was new latex;
it tasted of ammonia, and at that moment
it occurred to me
that my mouth can be upon someone without kissing.
And I remember the horrible pain of the handcuffs, but later they sent me home.
But later that year when my cousin was dead, they left me in the cell.
And when my cellmate died They put me in a room alone.
But, my Goodness, I escaped. A huge riot! Many of us got out, many died, many had red blood.
Running in the woods I found a stream but could not drink.
Running in the woods I found an elk and killed it but could not weep.
No, that is ridiculous.
No, yes, it is dead.
And a poor woodpecker with red head, dead.
I desired screaming, I desired kisses, I desired.
I found a large highway and walked straight out into it,
and the wreckage began.
...There were people in the upside-down car, moaning.
I crawled in and put my kiss on each.