The Disposal / The goldfish that swallowed my ashes

The Disposal

Poem of the week, The Missing Slate

Kiss the stomach of your raw child,
wrap him three times in the heat of birth,
feed him, bathe him, drown him carefully.

By now your nails are weightless daggers
that trace in the ice of my back
the knocked-out 8 of eternity.

Your hair sets the mattress aflame
and I become
– as far as I can tell –
the first individual
to be cremated during sex.

In a dark scarf and sunglasses
at the disposal of my astonished remains,
you lift the lid off my makeshift urn
to feed me to the goldfish in the Tiber.

You are alone again,
fingers free to tease the single sheet of night
into a hundred cotton children holding hands.


The goldfish that swallowed my ashes

The Missing Slate

The goldfish that
swallowed my ashes
now heads down the Tiber

one fin working harder
than the others
dragging itself away
cutting across several
shipping lanes
where notwithstanding
the blatant disregard
of the weekend couples
sun stretching on l’Isola Tiburina

it comes to
an heroic terminus
in a flurry of reeds
under a brolly
of broken condoms.