My father lived in a dirty dish mausoleum, watching a portable black-and-white television, reading the Encyclopedia Britannica, which he preferred to Modern Fiction. One by one, his schnauzers died of liver disease, except the one that guarded his corpse found holding a tumbler of Bushmills. "Dead is dead," he
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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.