It was a small dark body, like a mouse.
Unemployed, it still drove the car,
pushing the TV out the passenger-side door,
yellow chyme and bile the color of grass,
like the time the Ferris Wheel made the little kids cry
at the Okoboji of slow dancing
There are things you can do with music
or, as in this case, with your voice.
Dense as fudge
it pullulated with margins outside
the half a permitted millimeter
of tissue-wrapped meat.
Tender slits healed as
she cried out for corporate capital,
offed her white negligee and wig,
disinviting them from her gondola,
it and its sleeper cells, daughter cells
for whom she had, unknowingly peeled
carrots and quartered pears in the Denver
of the stockyards.
We all came to hold her hand,
the dancer, the flight attendant, the nurse,
the teacher, the librarian,
all dripping tears
silly with love, the light
shedding like a dog in August,
an old dog.
Judy Swann is a poet, essayist, editor, translator, blogger, and bicycle commuter, whose work has been published in many venues both in print and online. Her book of letters, We Are All Well : The Letters of Nora Hall, appeared in 2014.
Image: Ferdinand Hodler, Valentine Godé-Darel one day before her death