Got good shirt then cold soup and dog that’s no dog but a wolf: who can tell the difference? An appreciable difference, really. Appreciable dead-versus-living difference, like the one soldier here, dead, and the other still living in his own bed that a previous dead left him. And the soup difference, like warm versus cold, and the cold in its dead crawl inching through everything, or meaning the heat running out, literally going away, up hospital wall, out the hospital wall, door, window, plain, sap-eaten top, not even work providing heat, crushing up the soup or cold soup, little seahorse soup, the bodies white pulp-ish scale mashed with the pestle, or the bathtub when not a pestle, where the not-dead bathe. Someone in hallway singing:
When you say
you love me!
Horse on the tiles. And some stethoscope silver and dangling, everyone thinking, Mother, goddamn! Some war. This is some war. Fields and dirt outside. Trees eighty-men tall. Is that a wolf in the surgery? Someone’s married an Indian. Someone’s got a cart of things out of that wolf: pitcher white porcelain, jaguar figurine, whole monkfish, flintlock, book: Patrician Names for Poor Boys. A dead man screams. Trundle. Wolf picks up, leaves town.
Who’s this in the eyes? Got a hand in the body grabbing the whole beating heart and out come black birds, wings black dinner napkins. Another dead. Witch! Witch! The sky outside no sky. The ground outside no ground. Hospital an exhalation pushing everything out, everything of the body, living-insides and out, dead and living, little blackbird cloud, cold soup into the road that’s no road. What wants a road, its lazy “S”-ing?
At the marriage ceremony there was the white man, the red woman, the preacher. I was on a hill. Blackbirds were in the trees. I don’t want to say love is . . . It was a long, long walk to there, and still I happened upon it without knowing I might happen there. From behind, someone had crept up then got a hand in my throat. Had got me down and got the hand in there. It happens now and then. My mother’s curse at my birth (because of the pain I caused). It’s true. It’s always true. The preacher in his bluff speaking another language then the two, white and red, married. Someone was laughing, my head pressed to ground and smelling the ground-smells, some sweet rotting, the footsteps, the two separating slow, the couple and the preacher, each a different direction. In my hands fistfuls of wet leaves. It took a long time. A day. A night. It always does. After a while there’s another sunrise and a collection of things on the ground I swear I’ve never seen. He says they’re from me. He’s got them all laid out. I had not seen a one. Not before then. Not since.