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[Dickey's death feels all over me]

Dickey's death feels all over me.
I try not digging at the thing. He died
before I could grow his hemlock seed.
Boyo, the tricksters of this cemetery,

long-sleeved shorts with their shirts off,
can't tell a cow's dead till it's slaughtered.
He was a sublime Halloween snicker,
bat dark meat. Never watched golf.

Not much now but gum and minerals,
blue pods, tainted entertainments.
Our folder warps, drifts, frags, taunts.
Everest ground down to soil samples.

I've lost my sprite, my shot at distemper,
nobody's rabies can pillow this blow.
Nobody's but Dickey's. My "he" is "O,"
who once flicked hearts, a lamplighter.

I could clang wish-bells, break out a dish,
but I know he's the headache at the base
of my throat. He's left ice in my voice,
foam round rocks where we used to fish.

Steven Cramer

Sarabande Books

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