His coffin lid is lined by soft white cotton and empty peanut shells
so that we remember his harvest is done and his knuckles
can finally knock off early, gloveless and candlestick warm.
No butterflies will hatch this season.
Each cocoon has been carefully soaked in pesticide,
warning us that beauty is always honored as a nuisance
to those who cannot bear to scratch their own itch.
And the fire hydrant of his childhood is rusted shut
but this has no bearing on history. It is just a pleasant memory
until it reminds me of split open lips and the warm taste of
street curbs in summertime. Bactine tastes likes this—
and falling from a tree limb, landing harder than the unripe apples that come with.
Through this mask of arrows he wears, you see him now— perplexed;
Bloodless and dry, like a lily pressed between pages
for at least one century. Bone black ink spells on him now, “August is ending.”
He often thought it would be a wonderful thing
if the Earth were so large, so immense, that time zones spanned days instead of hours.
Somewhere, a planet spins like this,
which means at any given time, September is ending. And so are the eleven other months.
How wonderful for airline marketers that they can promise time travel back and forth.
So that on the day you die, you might be alive somewhere else,
just one state over, dreaming of farmland behind the firehouse.