The Birthdays of the Dead
It is an affront in their land
to remind someone of that first
exile because they recollect
the sojourn with terror still and
regret the loss of it. All those
dawns, roads, splinters, whiskies and hard
chairs, all that fucking and eating
and talk, talk, talk. They never talk
since it takes tongue and breath. All that
breathing! they say inside themselves
when the memorial comes round.
Well out of that cadence! they say
all day. No more of those little
amnesias, the sleeps! Now they have
more than all the time in the world.
Someone across the borderline
has tied two fingers together
with black thread, not to forget, till
nightfall and the time to cut it.