I Have Seen the Dead (poem)

They hold blue fire in boxes

they speak with their fingers

they hunker around their bonfires

flames fork the wings of their shadows 

they dream of ascending

into marbled skyscrapers

and signing their names over

and over and over in gold

nesting in wide cool houses

and sunset bricks and vast grasses

see their fingerbone wages

see them drifting from windows

the rustle of stained aprons

crumpled in corner chairs

the blood-tired sighs

the loans of money promised

the promise of money loaned

hear their footsteps hear them breathe

see the gravestones on their backs

see the shovels in their hands.

____________________________________________

This poem first appeared in the November 2017 issue of Scarlet Leaf Review. It is included in my upcoming book of poetry, Bright Soil, Dark Sun, published through Finishing Line Press.

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