Future Death Poem
Clay Cantrell

I receive a casket of trouble
bled with mayday warnings
broadcast on frequencies
                        my dreams won’t kill.             
A thatching of words shifts
                                    into cut-up pictures
                                    and into nurses’ hearts:
throw his medicine out the window
because it’s the same shit they give him before         
all that cancer.

I adhere to my life like blackbirds on cornfields.                                                        

                                                            I live in a hospital
built from husks of East India Dot Com and the last elephant tusks
skewered across the ocean. In the vile
colonies of preemptive pregnancies    
my words rot off squares of toilet paper
my unborn son swaddled in black and white
calls to me saying Pa, can’t we die farmers
my unborn son born among meninges
in the center of a dark
                        emotional depression.
                                                                                    These are the days
before the new cancers.          

A gaggle of southern lawyers parades by a flowered window.
I think people are finally learning to read.

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