your fourth dead body (20180521)

your fourth dead body
lies in state on sunday
on pillars before a home
a house on a busy main street
still sleepy on sunday afternoon
not a funeral home
just a house and no crowd of mourners
but three modestly
well-dressed people
gathered behind the coffin

it’s a few blocks
from that taco shop you want to try

post obedience
involuntary body viewing
the second time
you have been surprised
by a corpse

the grass is green
cut short at the house
clouds part by the hand of god
like god is karate chopping the sky
the opening reveals a sky bluer
than the ache that
lives in your bones
creates a vacuum
the clouds refuse to rush back in
instead the heavens suck the air
out of your lungs

you are too far away to see details
of the face
but the sun reflects
off a brown forehead
you can smell pomade
thick massaged into black
permanently styled hair
what you took for beads of sweat
is mortician’s wax
pilling on skin
that will not ever sweat

you have stopped breathing
your breath has fled
like a soul on the lam

a police car pulls up to the curb
maybe to ask
why they have a body on their lawn
why the casket is open
why the corpse is sweating
why can you smell it

why are cops who have gathered
around the corner
laughing with each other
like one just told a joke

traffic lets you move
and you breathe
and the body in the casket
does not

finger bones (20160614)

today my hands hurt
and i struggle with the clay
cutting the base free
to mount it on more clay
to raise it up

the finger bones ache
and i think a good use for them
would be a mala necklace

i ignore the pain
in the joints
but feel it while driving home

these little betrayals
of body makes
a little more paunch
a little less hair
a little more nose
a lot more jowl
so many more things to worry about
and the constant threat
of pain in the feet
of pain in the hands
the chest

memento mori
i count these off
on my finger bones
om mani padme hum

——

for
The Daily Post
Daily Prompt: Struggle