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“How to keep abreast of death,” a poem by Tim Holland.

How to keep abreast of death. if death be a point of concern.
misaligned is a good way of describing the detours taken by
what can more commonly be referred to as self-destruction.

as with the origin of all things, there is a gratification
to be apprehended, and we must we

the sand of our sand, the dirt of our dirt.
hope for no more [like bruises], want no more [like broken bones].
ache for no more [like feeling—anything at all].

our clothes and hands are dusty
in the distance
in the shadow of psalms and songs from a long-ago-vacated chicken coop
“what is clear here?” one can only say, where once there was burden, there is burden no more.
burden no one else no more.

Lulu is unburdened too. heels up on the true birdens of night.
whores of all
things
all sexes and ages.
on every level there is a fragment of death—the early comprehension of
anxiety giving way to rational fear.

Lulu drinks charcoal in supine position. the blood-baron—the baroness—
scale the great undoing—the undoing of all things.

then: dig to find that which is underneath.
and then what
lies beneath that
we are a curious accident.
our best hope: to understand madness. insanity.
to differentiate it from what remains.

around the bend from where we sat as children chewing stalks of wheatgrass—
at the far end of West Street—is a treeless strip of land that dissects
the forest.
before we were born, the township named this patch of dry grassland “Division Street.”

it was earmarked eminent domain—the graveyard on the other end
of Division Street was near capacity.
the trees on either end would soon make way for bodies.

ours is an occurrence of exhaustion that falls outside of this. Barely.