Blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsSpring 2018  Vol. 17 No. 1
an online journal of literature and the arts
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Death at the Lakeshore

Truth be told, I took the job for the perks—
deathlessness, mostly—and wound up afoot
in the heart of the day in my black ankle-top
Converse All Stars, shepherding the good
and the fucked to places I couldn’t believe
where gargoyles sing “Imagine” a capella.

Bookkeeping and scheduling are daunting,
but I can’t hold their tardiness against them.

On the lakeshore, wind has a close voice
that reshapes dissatisfactions. This morning
it shuffled pages of the Cleveland Plain Dealer
the sports section feature on Browns football.
The geese waddle-walked on the newspaper
in a light that says what happens is random

and a few loops and knots of enduring time
you enter to leave forever. I come for them.

There really is no such thing as dying well.
I may hear inanities like I smell chocolate
or I need to drive to a grocery tomorrow
or I’m not the only one naked in the room
and then they simply stop breathing. Those
alive in autumn by a lake will want to exit

in September, the sugar maples reddening
as a group before mislaying their leaves.