Saturday, March 5, 2011

Death Always Rings

Death always rings us by telephone.
We have programmed an especially loud brrring-a-ding
into the handset
to mimic the wee-aah of the European siren.

The ring charges our adrenaline, jumps
us out of bed,
but we revel in its familiarity--
drink in its tones
cradling the plastic between ear and shoulder like
the lolling head of a newborn baby.

We prefer a few rings to compose
        a more rhythmic breath.
        some wisdom.

In this way, our panic remains private.
by the nine-number pad and breaths
crackling across space.

Death comes to us over the wires
from a hospital bed in Idaho
an abandoned mine shaft in Germany
catacombs in New York
labs in Colorado.
We wait for the ring

and toll in the years that way.

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