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Picture of the Day

November 13, 2013

I met an artist the other day. He asked if I were a poet;
I didn't know what to say. Today I found the sick goose dead
in the little coop--private room--where she'd been quarantined.
I walked around till I found a de facto headstone and shaped
the negative space of a grave with pick and shovel.
The last time I did this was for my mother in 1999;
we were planting a tree that in theory would grow
nourished by her ashes in accordance with her wishes
but I don't think it survived Minnesota winter and then as now
I sweat with embarrassment to think there is no stone bearing her name.
After I buried the goose I took a bath in the outdoor tub--cloudy enough
not to worry about frying in the sun. I exfoliated my face with fingernail
and left the scrapings on stone surround where it wasn't long till ants
found 'em and gnawed notches in the little yellow mounds, good as gold,
trimmed down, hauled away. I peeled off a piece of excess toenail, too, that
one enthusiastic worker heaved mightily a fair distance before deciding,
"Fuck it!" Dropped it like a bad habit and walked off the job. The mosquito
I snatched out of the air one-handed and rolled into ball between fingers
was a much hotter commodity; wasn't more than ten seconds before it was
paraded away like a giant stuffed animal prize at the county fair. Just another
day on jungle shore of Maui--life, death, the in between and we who do and wait.