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In America the
Dead are laid
Out in ordered
Rows beneath a
Projected spread of
Groomed grass saturated
With noxious life
Repellent. Incised through
Veins of quartz
And pebbled flakes
Of mica are
Phantoms that we
Send for posterity –
Words conveying not
Love, but need
For credit, for
What we have


As if we could toll the death of death
And seal it within a lavish coffin
Behind a weighted fence, we tend to neglect
The roses and the fact
That the insects are still there
And we dare not dwell upon it.


In a gently tarnished town,
Called Litomyšl, where arch-paved walks
Emulate the underlying bulges of tree roots
And the tower bell thrums
Across the stucco and clay tile roofs,
Fluid iron gates curve to errant strangers.
I can hear the conversations
Of unfamiliar birds that vacillate between
Fingers of self-pruning trees.
And I can sense an ounce of the feeling
For the glowing bones, below
In the twining gardens
Under their eaves of water and stone.
The rifts widen within,
Gratitude touched by radiance
Through the patches of light
Resting upon my shoulders.


I cannot say
That one is better,
Or worse,
Or any other gray comparison.
If you want to know something about a country,
About a people,
You might consider exploring
Its cemeteries.