The Other Life

The last soul leaves—
I stretch my rigor mortis and force
through the Earth
shoveling and clawing

the dawn is confused by itself
and the worms recoil from
my heat

I move

through the graves with careful steps
because I am trained from
the other life
to be wary of
the temperaments of dead things

there’s a hill where I sit and wait
as dawn pieces its fragments
I kill a stray worm
with the heel of my palm
and smear my guilt in the grass

in the West
there is a creak of a watery door
and wind stirs ash into a gentle storm
a muting snow
it covers the hillside
and blankets the graves
the dawn has a revelation

I resume.

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