- POETRY -

DEATH OF THE SOUTH AFTER A LONG BATTLE WITH CANCER WITH QUOTATIONS AROUND IT

Henry Goldkamp

ISSUE THIRTEEN | FALL 2019

His varicose       watershed mopped 

            up the weed and clover      killer, the fertilizer 

grew him a foot      at least, the river rose 

            a handful of gams.       Here where men were 

giant and dead,       rheumatisms of cypress 

            knees. Some buckle.       Some unbuckle.

The mussels did tsk tsk      through their beards.

 

Tonight might be the night.      Orange drags through

            this memory:       the thrill.

That and that       his past is a smoke 

            jettied both ways, age-old       decisions staged 

between his lips just lit.       His hand dips      

            to pet the razor       clams mouthing the camp,       

clapping back at       his life well done, though slow       

            cooked at a steady ninety-eight 

degrees for a century       and some change.

 

Can't we the crock-potted       be thankful for the church

            of cells? Without their prayer       of death, we might live

forever.       Imagine,       oh the nerve, never       ending.

Henry Goldkamp is in Gentilly, New Orleans. Recent work appears in Diagram, Indiana Review, Barrow Street, Notre Dame Review, and South Carolina Review.  His public art projects have been covered by Time and NPR.

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