Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Skeletal Corpus

If nobody died
nobody would care,
there would be no love
to get in the way
of a heart breaking
and would let it break
without incident.

There would be no tears.
The rusty wire strung
between would be gone,
soldiers would not dream
of what was found there.
No evil, no need
for what is called good . . .

Where did the goddam soldiers come from now?
Bobby thought he had unriddled the world.
Where’s Auschwitz, Belsen, Dachau, Treblinka–
keep naming the endless grief, memory’s
Shoah, keep hoping, keep thinking you know,
keep on making bombs, keep starving children
and make the turning earth stop where it is,

then you can quit this
fearing, this dreading,
and no longer care
if there is a world
above or below,
give up your Dante
or follow him down
so far you know what
is simply poem,
for what else is there
but such peaks to reach,
anywhere you go
that is not limbo
is worth fucking grief,

is a song performed a capella then,
mouth fit to blow a horn, let there be sound,
fingers nimble, give voice to instruments
of percussion, set the melody loose
so loveliness falls off the edge of life
and somebody says, Hell, man, this is death,
like Marlowe did: Why, this is Hell,
nor am I out of it . . . something like that,
no matter, the wonder is we are born
and the more we know the more our bodies
decay, the growing season gone off track,
the devil running a race with the god
who knows you will come in out of the rain,
do nothing but make music out of words:

If there’s no body there’s no need for bones.

(30 April, 8 May 2012)

copyright 2012 by Floyce Alexander

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