a journal of fantastical poetry

song for Mary Henry

by Gwynne Garfinkle

you stagger from the muddy water
like a disgruntled Aphrodite
you should have died
but this is your one starring role
your one life
and you hold fast to it
past its expiration date
being dead means
no one will wait on you
in the department store
you can't hear people
or jackhammers
your hands play carnival dirges
instead of hymns
death is your stalker
with his fixed stare
and ghastly smirk
he wants to dance
and won't take no for an answer
like the leering guy next door
hoping to get you drunk
whichever way you run
you're headed toward
the giddy crowd of the dead
they're waiting to waltz you
pale and wan
they're ready to take you back to the water
they're aching to dance you to drown

June 28th, 2016

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