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In memory of Paul Yost 1955-2014
I’m tearing apart paper,
newsprint, the obituary page,
shredding descriptions of lives:
of fathers, mothers, sisters, brothers,
bachelors, partners, husbands, wives,
shredding their black-and-white
faces, their smiles, their stares,
ripping also the memorial verses
loved ones have left,
wadding it all up
to fuel my charcoal chimney.
Yet not enough.
So here comes the sports page,
the World Cup, accounts of pop flies
dropped, ripe for ripping,
ripped, balled, stuffed, ready
for the match’s fiery effacement.
And that poor chicken! hatched, harried,
pecking its food among hordes,
pulled from transport crates,
shocked for the throat cutter’s convenience,
This one’s also been
deboned, yet not sold soon enough,
skewered by butchers along with
aging onions and overly ripe peppers.
After its scraping, red and black,
slightly rusted, the grill stands ready,
top open, at attention.
I place the chimney
upon the barred metal, pour in
the briquettes, and torch the
shredded lives of others,
their wins and losses,
and watch the smoke
rising into the dissipation
of the silent, cloud-shifting sky.