A rhomboid shape is described in the earth,
Spades dig neatly down to a desired depth,
Clouds coagulate above the solemn trees,
A crow breaks out across the deadened day,
A tractor antcrawls through stamp-sized fields,
The dogs are nosing down among the nettles.
Strong arms strain to steer the hooded body
Towards the entrance to this clean-lipped hole.
A flap is forced open by the probing breeze
And a candy-curdled perfume seeps out,
The men quietly gag and continue shoving,
One final heave and it tumblingly drops.
They turn to pick up the discarded spades
And start to hail scattered soil into the pit;
After twenty minutes the earth is returned,
What's within will witness withdrawal,
A withering into inky infinity,
And adjustment to an iced absence.
Cling to eager exploratory roots,
Shrews' skulls, pulsing bulbs, neolithic blades,
So begins this velvet-voided odyssey.
Now this cold mould of flesh
tells stories about me. It reveals
a taste for the finer things: deep
glasses of red wine, fine cuts
of rare meat retrieved from inside,
buttery asparagus spears impaled in torso.
It tells lies of my morality, discloses
the scars of cannabis smoke, cocaine snuff,
the fine gauze of wounds that crown
my sphincter. It says nothing
of a passion for poetry, unless
there are papercuts I've missed.
It hides those loves that ringed
my heart like Saturn. It keeps
the pain of loss; the glisten of hope
in the eye (now hooded);
the drive, mere suppurated muscle;
or the fancy of restful decline.
It remembers me, gives a eulogy,
though often I forgot it was there.