There are a billion reasons to look down
into a casket, but just one way to lie in it dead,
which proves there isn't anything
you can think of that isn't here for the living,
who are each alive for a short time
in a very different way.
After she moves out, one tears up grass blades
to watch which way the wind blows.
Just over there, another buried his favorite dog
and now look at that tree!
Would you like to model for me?
says the lousy painter
to every woman who walks within earshot.
Feeling a little dead?
Maybe you spend a weekend
faking a French accent,
maybe you buy an even more expensive stereo
and build a separate and self-sufficient world
inside the garage.
Something happens something happens something happens.
Repetition repetition repetition.
The saddest painting I ever saw
was on the carpet in my friend's hallway
where he tripped one night
carrying a gallon of red.
This was just before the divorce.
Just after he told me he was trapped
inside some idea of himself,
one he swore bore no relation
to what the rest of us had been seeing.
"Nice shirt" has always meant too many things.
|From Skirmish by Dobby Gibson. Copyright © 2009 by Dobby Gibson. Used by permission of Graywolf Press. All rights reserved.|