The man sitting next to me at Porter Square
!50!station wears his fur coat
like he named the animal after his father
!50!& then skinned the hide himself. He watches me
read a book where the author says too much
!50!about the body, about the origin of pilgrimage
& plunder. The man turns to me & says you ever notice
!50!how all poems are either about love or death?
He says this like no one has ever thought to name
!50!this blood pageantry for the spectacle that it is,
like we don’t parade the people we’ve buried
!50!& unburied on purpose. I know what I’m doing
when I say today all my old lovers wake
!50!with a mouth full of soil, bed of soil; sky, soil.
No one gets a name. Instead: carnations, basic grief, elegy
!50!that can be read at the local theater. My ancestors, alive
as if for the first time, rise to greet each other, kiss
!50!while staring down barrels of agave
& muskets, write wedding vows, watch their countries
!50!empty from plague or famine or men
convinced if they name something in a new language
!50!the old one dies.