death

All posts tagged death

In Spring

Published May 19, 2015 by April Fox

In the spring,

when everything began to grow,

we sat in a field of green and yellow

spinning dreams about the future.

Yours was set in stone, and I was there

Mine was outer space and I was waving at you

far below, a thousand miles away.

In the spring,

when everything began to grow,

I counted backward days and threw up

all of my childhood

My future set in stone and yours a quickly scribbled postscript

to a tale you couldn’t write.

In the spring,

when everything began to grow,

I watched you die

counted lines etched in your jaundiced skin

and breathed the scent of giving up

with every word you spoke

I held our son and said good-bye,

your future set in stone, a gift

given to yourself.

In the spring,

when everything began to grow,

I sat in a field of green and yellow,

spinning dreams of the future

drinking coffee from a plastic cup

counting birdsongs, making pictures from the clouds

grateful, every second

for everything you left to me.

spring

January 31 2015

Published January 31, 2015 by April Fox

In my trunk there is a photograph
of me at age fifteen,
one of my daughter at three,
and my grandma’s cookie jar.

There is a bag on the seat
next to me
with bits and pieces of her life
taken from her bedroom.
I haven’t looked inside but I reached in and felt
a book, and I wonder
if the pages smell like her.

Her chair is in the wrong place.

Her bed is gone.

There are crumbs in the cookie jar, who knows how old, and still
I can feel her hands,
petal-soft
against my face
I can hear voice,
an echo
in the unfamiliar air
And I wonder if the space she left behind
will ever fill
with something else.

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Stench

Published December 5, 2014 by April Fox

Early morning, waking alone
in the cluttered nest you built
the stench of last year’s sheets and last night’s
desperation turn your stomach and the water
on the bedside stand is gone, the glass left empty
by the stranger who crept over you
shameful in your flaccid state
saliva like a spider’s web, linking you
to the soggy condom
by the pillow

There is a book you thought you’d want to read
someday
lying on the floor
dressed in dust and the fragile carcass
of an insect
starved for air

The sunlight through the broken blinds sings lies
of better things

You dreamed of childish things,
rope swings and secret hidden cans
of cheap domestic beer, Fantasia
on the TV screen

When they found you, you were hanging
like some morbid decoration
strung up in celebration
of the world you left behind
and the skin dripped off their faces
open mouths and burnt out eyes, imaginary
indignation, all
erased with your existence.

Half-assed Elegy

Published October 8, 2014 by April Fox

Shy at first,
(the way you are when you begin to realize
that your invisible friends
and Santa Claus
aren’t real
but you make your lists and set out
extra teacups
anyway)
I was hesitant to speak
mumbled out into the dark
and empty room
the echo I imagined
shut me up and turned
to live-to-dead telepathy
thinking pointed thoughts toward the earth, the sky
the universe which sat
petulant
refusing
to respond

I thought perhaps
a translator might help,
dialed 1-800 numbers, spoke with
aging housewives wrapped in tattered terrycloth
chain-smoking cigarettes and lying
that they knew the dear departed

I sought evidence of soul recycling,
a familiar turn to a feline eye
or the cast of a particular note
on the breath of a dying bird
clutched between the jaws
of a tame domestic short-hair

For the hell of it,
(having packed away the tea set
left the stockings and the reindeer food
ashes on the hearth)
I raised my voice in a half-terrible
supplication mimic
asked the one they said would save me
for a sign that they were there

Too busy killing babies
and enchanting football games
the silence soothed me
like a love song

And the ground devoured them.

Wreck.

Published June 16, 2014 by April Fox

This is the part, tiny little nothing man
where you reach down inside where
everything good festers and dies, pull out your
misery and strangle yourself
with your own
fetid tongue.

Street whore cries injustice, plastic face
melting off under the acid of her
manufactured tears
knees bruised and bloody
from too long at his feet
ankles sore from long lines waiting
for the heroin injection
tapping feet, anxious to
return to incest nation
Jesus is her savior.

His head is torn apart.

Outside, stupid girls in hundred-dollar garbage skirts write
crimson orifices in expensive
Moleskine notebooks,
trapping boys with tic-tac birth control
and manifesting
nightmares

Mothercunt, she is a parasite
in reverse
damaged infant screams for breath
long before it’s born

Blessings,
she says.

And somewhere in Ohio, death
has claimed reality
and the blue bar across the screen
becomes the only thing
we see.

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Remembering Dot, Again and Always

Published February 24, 2014 by April Fox

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Days like this I remember letters
in tiny boxes
careful pen strokes
never crossing the lines

Fat red apple jar filled with
chocolate sandwich cookies

The light on the back porch
sun breathing its life into us
I was so much older than she, sometimes
still the infant on her lap

She made me laugh, cry
made me bunny ears in the tub and told me
Little Orphan Annie was the worst
I had to fear

“I used to dance too,” she said
smiling at my tiny daughter
the same size as she
“Tap, with my sisters. I wish I remembered the steps.”

“I can show you,” and my baby took her hand.

She’s not there anymore
empty chair, empty house and when I need to feel strong
I spray on her perfume
and practice the steps
my daughter teaches me.

Burial

Published December 13, 2013 by April Fox

I’ve held in my hands
a thousand pretty deities
and all the ugly ones
Turned them over, inspected them
for authenticity
crushed their life out,
saved my breath
for my own resuscitation

Buried them
under mounds of ash
from old deposit slips
and torn-off clothing
(the buttons, when they burn
are worn out tires)
and letters written late at night
to no one in particular
ribbons from cassette tapes melt
and scar their holy corpses

There is nothing in their flesh
that makes them real

There is no kind of belief
can make them whole.

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