Published in Apeiron Review, Sept 2014
He can’t sleep
so why should you.
Lights are on
at the morgue; they’ll
unzip him for you.
The man on the slab stops at the neck.
His hand is cool between yours, and
you’re shaking when you find
the divot in his finger, proof
of that last exertion.
Brown, curly hair fringes
his opened skull, the interior
exposed like the rubble
of Coventry Cathedral.
It’s catching, they say—the melancholy,
the lassitude, a germ in the tears perhaps.
You’re afraid, but
you might risk it, knowing
once you close your eyes
you could fall long into
that hypoxic darkness too.
It took a while.
After a few false starts,
putting it off and putting it off
until the time was right— when the money
and the gun met, then he finally
lost the argument
on the drive over.
The view from the St. Johns bridge
is a postcard bearing bad news.
When you’re ready, go stand
on that exact spot, look through
his eyes, and try to change his mind.