Waking from comalike sleep, I saw the poppies, with their limp necks and unregimented beauty. Pause, I thought, say something true: It was night, I wanted to kiss your lips, which remained supple, but all the water in them had been replaced with embalming compound. So I was angry. I loved the poppies, with their
sign up to receive a new poem-a-day in your inbox
Hand Grenade Bag
This well-used little bag is just the right size
to carry a copy of the Psalms. Its plain-woven
flowers and helicopter share the sky with bombs
falling like turnips—he who makes light of other
men will be killed by a turnip. A bachelor,
I wear it across my shoulder—it’s easier to be
a bachelor all my life than a widow for a day.
On the bag’s face, two black shapes appear
to be crows—be guided by the crow and you
will come to a body—though they are
military aircraft. A man who needs fire
will soon enough hold it in his hands.