What do the dead eat
she asked me
(just curious)
turning her profile around the sun
for me to admire

Her legs grew long
as she lay on the couch
She shot me a glance
		under her lids
and covered her knees with her dress

"It is true,"
she said, "that centers don't hold.  I
am forever unravelled."
She tossed her magazine down
"So much for centers,"
she sighed

Over salad
she showed me her bones
just for a laugh and hoping like a small child, to shock
"made of glass," she boasted
but she sighed a lot
asking me
what do the dead eat?

I wanted to say
to her teeth like stones
I wanted to say
it is I
who should worry
		about that question
It is my living heart
		moist warm tissue
barely sheltered
		in a cage of pale bone

I should worry
because you
you are dead in your skin

	But I did not speak
	and she smiled as I
	took myself in hand for her

Because the dead eat
oh yes
the dead eat the living who will not give them up


Smokey Joe's Poetry Corner

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Copyright © 1989 C.Diane Thompson

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