a pack of cigarettes imagines the afterlife.


my aunt says her husband
was reincarnated
         as a frog, that he floats
over the scum
of the above-ground pool
when it rains.
she caught him, she says,
on the porch
last week, looking in,
         at his chore coat
         recliner
         his ashtray
as if visiting a museum
of his former self.
she put a matchbook
w/ a pack
         of his favorite brand
         on the tackle box.
turned the television
to a local station.
 
in my living room
the cicadas fall asleep
forgetting themselves
like self-conscious drunks.
in the morning
i sweep up what they leave:
         these skeletons
         of metal deck chairs
         powdered w/ filament
                     /n brick dust –
  holding the shell
  of their bodies to my ear,
             hearing nothing.
 
listen:
there are some of us
(among the living)
         no longer good at the living part
asking
what they leap into,
how they leapt out.

Image Credit: Drawing of a 12 Pack of Cigarettes, NARA / Wikimedia Commons.


About the author

Born in Canton, OH, I am the author of the full-length poetry collection, "6 Weeks of White Castle /n Rust," as well as the "trashed haiku" xerox series. My work for the theater has been performed in NYC and Cincinnati, with a recent play, "Sand in a Memphis Glass," enjoying an Off-Off Broadway run at the Tank Theatre. Other work has appeared in Painted Bride Quarterly, New Limestone Review, Belt Mag, Cathexis Northwest Press, Juke Joint, After the Pause, Silver Needle Press and Stereo Embers. I am currently at work on a collection of short fiction and two full-length poetry collections.

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