Suppose that the chest

of the corpse you carry

is really a mouth,

harboring a tongue.

 

And suppose that tongue,

rattling around in its fleshy hollow,

is whispering to you

the settings of the dead,

 

the impossible beauty

of worlds in which silence

is a thousand birds

falling from the sky.

 

Suppose it tells you

that the secret to life

is a small grouping of hair and teeth

growing inside of you,

 

first from the gut

reaching then the lungs,

the heart, the brain,

and the eyes.

And as you lay it into the hole,

suppose it asks you

whether it’s made any sense,

whether you’d trust a friend

whose last words, as you remember,

were caught in the throat

quelled by pond reed,

sacrilege, and bath water.

 

 

John Goodhue lives in Bellingham, Washington and is a student currently pursuing a BA in creative writing through Western Washington University. His poetry is forthcoming or has been published in burntdistrict, Jeopardy Magazine, Knockout Magazine, The Write Room, and OVS Magazine, among others.

Photo by Kim Ledin, used by permission. See more of his work on DeviantArt.

Filed under: Poetry

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