Posted: September 17, 2008 in Poetry

my life feels like a seed that sprouts little shoots
that someone repeatedly crushes underfoot,
and sometimes i think i’m at the helm,
controlling the heel, snipping the shoots
before they’re slammed alive into topsoil.

sometimes, i lie in bed, body rotting
on soiled sheets, moving only dirty fingernails
and oiled fingers on a tapped-out keyboard
with half-eaten letters, wondering why
death smells and why i can still smell it.

sometimes, getting up is an olympic sport.
shortest time wins.
i’m barely a week into endurance training.
this feat of living is harder than it looks,
more difficult than it sounds,

and when the yelling lands on your body
and it’s non-responsive, you’re wondering why
the smell of death still lingers,
and how you know it’s there.
sometimes, an out-of-body experience

lasts from the moment the doctor raises you
out of the womb to the moment
you’re fertilizing a seed that sprouts, and you realize
that someone’s approaching to crush it underfoot,
and you’re unsure of who is controlling the heel.

so you arm your garden
with shears and a memory that
the smell of death still lingers,
and you can smell it.
the source is unimportant.


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