Mark DeCarteret​

Read in landscape mode!

The Fall, Glad-Bagged and Laughable, Is All Bluff

with its candy-assed trees and their root-
rot, the home-sick blue of its skies –

the way it’s always cooling on us, secretly
making arrangements for more gray clouds;

these rags garnished with chloroform,
that have us shivering like the scales of a fish.

What I think is a bear cub out the window
is a boy, argues my neighbor, being eaten by ants.

Standing where she stood, they’d thank her,
if they could grasp the idea of reincarnation in low doses.

Nature once schooled us on how much luck was
involved with us being named the same, housed

in identical bodies. More likely recalled
as atoms, a matter for Whitman to take up.

My muse has died endless deaths. Sending us
its best but still asking that we lie about its whereabouts.

Next life, I should lead off with silence, it tells me,
a leaf suctioned to glass, a face cast in fiberglass,

leaving out what I felt being lifted up, struggling
with the gutters. Seeing to the shadows again – the trees,

wind-tossed in slo-mo, so sorrowful, at worst, no words –
the last of our ghost-steps sought out, doubtlessly.

Sure, another gin fizz and I’d sing to it, troubles gone,
but it’s an amateur’s game buying into one’s own image –

even though I’ve a ton of notes, stoner-talk, that say otherwise, telling me there’s still time to be raised, less sidled-up-to but desirous,

a scent that’s so tangy, so earnest, where I’ve vacated the cave,
I can only give thanks for it – scant, but nearly forsaken.

About the Author

Mark DeCarteret’s publications appear in The American Poetry Review, Fence, Gargoyle, Guesthouse, Hole in the Head Review, Nine Mile Magazine, and Plume Literary Journal, among others. His seventh book, lesser case, was published by Nixes Mate Books.