Baptism for the Dead
don’t take my name to the water
a soul with no body to enter
the dead don’t share skin with
the living—no conduit between
don’t set me in afterlife
my name is my body
The morning roundup’s
a current leaking to earth
without interruption or fault.
Above busted street lights the sun
buzzes to a cuffed line of deportees
—the sheriff’s imbalanced authority.
Any laborer gathered for a tear-out
agrees the pleasure of opening walls
is the view of what’s no longer behind.
The restrained motion of a body caught
within a fence run between language
is a union of shock and memory.
Original appearance in the Kenyon Review.