Derek Mong We Live Our Lives through Other People's Bodies

till we're no more than campfires
our families encircle. Our families then—

beneath the lantern of a saline bag—
rehearse their own deaths through us.

Meanwhile our pores open inward
under a deluge of morphine

and memory is all we have left to eat.
Slowly it grows to enclose us, before sailing

like a whale's belly lightlessly on.

Our organs then, if we gift them to the living,
will rise, piece by piece, on cloaks

of dry ice. The small planes that await them
keen over this city like crickets.

See their shadows leap freely, like those
of skimmed stones on the drowned.

And the men here—paused at a crosswalk
and listening—can feel their heels

lift as the crowd pushes them on.

Back to 47.2