Make Good of the Dead
Jesse Breite

No one wants to say things about the boy
or the girl or the man because
the molded face in the open casket
is dead and looks dead.

We wander around the empty room
searching for old conversations we had
with the deceased, but it could be years
if we decide to dig up that grave.
Fir trees know how to make good of the dead
by fingering through softened, fibrous skin
(as if grasping for the heart)
and unabashedly growing up out of a corpse.

And who knows better than the moss,
that bejeweled, pubic robe crawling over
the naked trunk, crotch and limbs of the dead?
Moss, you second-skin, spell the bronze

stones of the earth into the fecund howl,
cracking forth, beaming—light (O God) into light.

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