IN CASE OF SUDDEN FREE FALL
From "Free Fall"
THE NEWS FROM JAPAN IS LIGHT AND MULTISYLLABIC
After a death we need a to-do list. The man from the cemetery wants a deposit. There’re things to pick up from the dry cleaners. Even tying your shoes stops you thinking match flame, moth wing.
And because death is the stone we take into the body, we find ourselves resurrecting girlish love songs. We get up in the middle of the night to make butter and sugar sandwiches and listen to radio stations from far away.
And we are not to be admonished. And we are not to be blamed. We have seen the welded crosses, twisted and tossed out behind the caretaker’s shed.
THE FOURTH BOWL OF WRATH
For a time it was only windy, as if a storm approached. Then, dervishes in trees. Gusts that cut skin, that spit untethered earth till rocks were arrows. Sparrows, and even the chickens left us. And water? It was moody. Unlikely. Then not-at-all.
Thus we came to understand the Fourth Bowl of Wrath, God’s blistering breath on the land. Heaven was a bug-thickened bruised catastrophe under which cows sickened. Kids sickened. Diggers begged pardon as grit hit coffins. To save the horses we harnessed our women. And every day, the sun rose like a guillotine.