Dancing Around Graves ([broken] poems from old notebooks—August, 1998)

I have seen enough funerals suspended in these trembling flowered fogbanks here
where the sun struggles to touch
rough-textured faces of rocks
& delicate open-pored trees

Death has kept me dancing here until
I have become almost graceful
sidestepping long & glittered blades
hammered out of bar-stock steel & polished
till the sky was blue, could be seen right there
16 inches long & tapered
hilted with rare woods & the flattened teeth of hippopotamus

(I have danced on water after midnight
the curious mouths of fish nibbling at my soles
& the green luminescence of photo-plankton frothing at my ankles)

& if I could remember the reason I came here, the reason I fell
down the long slope of time to now, to this
dying summer preceded by a spring blooming with burial, begun with spades turning sod
that ended & turned to summer with
petals of flame rising
from my cousin’s gas-soaked shoulders after he struck the match

if I could remember the reason for any of this, I might smile
really, might never write again, might be able
to finish this poem

About John MacKenzie

I'll mumble for ya. Poetry, plus most things quantifiable: science, neuroscience, memory, epistemology, baseball. And so on.
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