The Pilgrimage, The Undead

I.

Recall? Didn’t make it that far.
To the end of Idaho. Two crossties
blocked the rails from uncaring prairie.

So return. Tell the churning topsoils
of home not to bother, and hope you foraged
your children life enough to stay and eat

the crops of your corpse.
Sad is the pilgrim.

Sad is the pilgrim who went off
in progress and came back
splayed on the backs of
the draft animals of every
intersecting trade wind.

Sad is the pilgrim who threw
their word for “love” before them
to lose it down the cavernous dark
of a cavity of earth we call this
hive of licked human dung and stingers,
writhing in history as a threat.

Sad is the pilgrim who makes it
there to find their footprints
proceeded them in carrier organisms
gangrenous with the treads of
their own printing feet.

Sad is the pilgrim who thought
a pilgrimage was a metaphor
for the pilgrimage, because it’s not.

Sad is the pilgrim,
obviously,
compelled to cannibalism.

So return. Tell the churning topsoils
of home not to bother, bite into
whatever plant came out of the dead
you left in your wake. Eat it. Taste it.
Sad is the pilgrim.

II.

Indescribable methods of pain are the
living, is the carrying of amelioration
to term, is the sepsis, the obstruction.
Afraid that there’s nothing left of labor
but ghosts, on either side of the transaction.

More than one prognostication inciting
that fear of our undead to not do our resting
duly reaped more than a few fierce punch
in that snake-oil man’s jaw, left clean in
grasses fed on the hemoglobin of tea readers.

That fear of undead and unrest begets
violence for any person to whom any place
is just a different flavor of grass, they
hear our ancient talk about our place,
only so many ghost stories.

(We believe them! – ancestral
hallucinations! The blight of different
continents of ancesteralcide!
The human dilemma raising Cains
and now even Abels out of the grave.
Backwoods beliefs! Run from us now!)

I’m not afraid of America. Never dead
nor undead, its rock surfaces show the
smoothing of wood, its wood surfaces show
the bumping of stones, America is a well-worn
desk and column where the dead left ballots
in incidental wear-and-tear.

I’m afraid of citizenship where the dead
aren’t documented in chipped paint and
discolorations, but where they are truly
undead,

beside me. You know, just… sitting there.

Because when the dead linger out of place
then they are ghosts.

And therefore the drive is to want something
to be left that isn’t a ghost. Something
dead.

It’s an interment instinct.
Not to deny that the past is dead,
But to grieve.

For when you keep undead company
sitting beside you
it is hard to know
between the two
whom is the rotting.

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