After life, pelicans glide above a shut-
down bridge. After the bridge, a tuft
of buffalo grass bending in a dirt field.
Life winks after us. It wants to ride again,
but it’s lost its ticket. Like if you had two
chocolates, and wanted to save one for later.
You try and try, the chocolate sweating
in your palm like dynamite, like the explosion
of death, wedding you to broken boards
and pilled bugs. Nothing to mount
on the walls, no washed out cow skulls.
No daguerreotypes of long forgotten soldiers
that hang from unanchored screws
like busted saviors, like the afterlife itself,
old plaid vest left flapping against
the wooden pole of an electric fence,
that isn’t really keeping anything
in or out, but still holds its charge,
still slaps the back of a little boy’s hand
as he reaches for a deer’s shed antler.