Poetry Month 2023, Post #2: Death By Drowning

During National Poetry Month I am posting a poem a day. Today’s post is “Death By Drowning,” a poem I wrote last summer.

Today at 10:06am
I found him
belly up
only a little bloated
water his deep
dark grave.

Turn the bucket
Talk gently
“How long have you been
in here, friend?”

Turn him over
his final rest
decomposing leaves,
Poison Ivy canopy
Sets off the blue

The day before
he died
the Supreme Court ruled
people like me
unprotected corpses

Inseminated uterai
wards of the state

Crouched over death
I honor the smallest
slippery life
Birthing with
knees cradling
the slender canal two lives

I admire tiny details
the little toes
slender, perfect nose
a body made to
skim the edges of creation

Death came on the
rounded razor’s edge
A thirst, a hunger
Lured into darkness
footing taken away

That day I found
him, sunken, still
about me wished he
would live
finding his way
around the bucket’s lip

Sipping just enough
no slipping,
but moving on
to another
crumbling, teeming with
food for thousands more

Life deserves honor
Beauty, more pausing
Gauzy gentleness, draping,
softening the gaping
Marking the vigor,
swaddling the marrow,
the skeleton, the sorrow

Synapses now fallow
cycles ceasing
No more seizing
The day life begins and ends
there is brash quiet.

When my country
Draws his dagger
And holds it to my neck
I drop down, resisting
Persisting in fullness of
finitude, ruthless,

drowning us all. So I will
sit with this tiny family
longer. Me and the blue-tailed
skink in the shade
blood still on the blade
of a dangerous world.

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