What the Dead Know

What the Dead Know

A Poem by Blueblack

Inspired by Anne Sexton's poem, A Curse Against Elegies. Also, the other poem. The one with the same name.

Nothing is ever simple as pronunciation these days:
we say the same word, tongues dancing a little ways,
but I hear where it stops in you, the solid thick sound, full of wood:

You say it like a curtain falling closed, a stone upon a stone,
as if you have woken, in the middle of the night,
to the crack of a bullet, the raw grunt of an axe
a rift in all your silent routines.

But the dead ring the world
as easily as the years do the trees:
they fling themselves from their husks of flesh,
breathing with the ease that the boneless know,
marveling at how ignorantly they'd suffered
inside the spice of wine,
the stale rolls of bread and the sour cheese,

the gasps their shriveled lungs allowed them. 

The dead are never really dead.

They watch us shuddering and sighing
heatless beneath a pale light,

breathing without mouths through the sky,
murmuring, cupping the voice of the wind completely 
and clutching a power so sacred they can't
surrender it all into our hands:

hands that still have a form, lined
and cracked porcelains,
hands that hide tremors and touch too hard
or too softly, or not at all:

hands we barely know how to use.

© 2010 Blueblack

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Added on March 5, 2010
Last Updated on March 7, 2010
Tags: death, afterlife



D-block, CT

I try to spear words with my fingers & sometimes, just sometimes, it works. They're impaled, just perfectly, wriggling my meaning like a thousand tongues but other times they slip out.. more..

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