Sixty years buried, soon to be exhumed as part
of our town bicentennial. A boy, descended
from the gentleman who buried it, will ply
the shovel and get his picture in the news.
His blade will strike something hard—the past.
Uncle has flown to Korea for what is not a war,
and will never end in peace, and from which
he will not return to open that auto body shop.
At Point-O’-Woods, in bathing trunks, I peruse
comic books without covers at the general store.
“I’m making a baby,” Auntie tells us. My cousin
will lack fingers on her left hand: Thalidomide.
Such days are Lazarus: there will be a smell.
That boy with the spade, the mayor, the crowd,
will scream and run away—as decomposed
corpses of MacArthur and McCarthy stagger out.
For what is time but ghosts that walk by day—
of lives never lived? As I stare at gherkins, in
a giant jar on the counter of the emporium,
light shifts, and the jar contains pickled fetuses.
- Thai – Laos New Year 2011