Over His Dead Body

of him,

milk in a years of sieved gush:

a threnody’d squawk of chickens,

of hundreds squabbled to grocers from farms;

stiffened in hells of stoves, at least,

as trundled bones on plates that lair

        –– all this:

crack’d apart of eggs, babes against

affrightful skillets glee’d by grease;

nameless butchers that pummell’d

the gory steaks for abrupt of his fork

and teeth; unraveled bacon by the yard

moving its char along his tubes,

could not be held, could not leave much;

oysters could not save a thing;

nor could shrimp from plundered shallows,

neckbones, heavy pork shops,

do much –– nor could groundround

daunt; steamed up lobster,

lush’d with butter, failed completely

––the body no gravy could fill

To be morsel’d off to fat grubs

(Let my own personal feelings offend:

That he ate well enough we know

––as to what end––,


From World’d Too Much: The Selected Poetry of Russell Atkins, edited by Kevin Prufer and Robert E. McDonough © 2019 by Russell Atkins.