Untitled for a man

Out of the bus window, the sky is like beaten tin.
Her body is a hammer,
it drives the nails into him.
The rain is coming down.

They place white lilies and a solitary tiger lily on the coffin.

Last night
in the hotel lobby the bellboys ruffled their feathers
But no one was around when he started to change,
from a pale creature, into a wolf.
Trains were breathing in the subways.
Above the silos the time flashed on and off

The priest is standing in the street.
She can smell the earth
burnt by the bombs.
Angels wear old coats, and wristwatches.
The trains flow down the artery.
The sky’s rib bones arch over her.
At home she keeps his picture on the windowsill.

In the dance club,
she’s talking to a man with antlers, hooves.
They’re talking about the news.
From the roses and tulips on the stage, comes the scent of sweetness and decay
The moon is made in China.

They buried him in the side of a hill.
He is on the cover of a rolling stone, now
Smelling of cradle moss.
She walks along the underpass and past the torn posters.
She hurries home—a flash against the darkening night

At home, an angel climbs her fire stairs
An angel she’ll call buttercup and feed sugar cubes, apples
She remembers the day he died,
It was the last day the sun was in Scorpio.

She watches the funeral on television.
Everyone seems poised on the edge,
wizards leaning forward to cast magic spells.
Inside the cathedral,
it’s like being inside the gut of an animal.
Wooden beams become vertebrae.
The organ and pipes become heart and lungs.

In the park,
children are running up the stairs of the silver rocket.
Superman is in a phone box,
changing into his costume.

 

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