Brooming the streets, sick drunk he hated life.
Winter after winter, his whining wife
Forgave him about midnight, and then she prayed,
John, 3-16. Pure slag-heap, smoldering his bed.
One winter afternoon of snow and smoke.
Fuddled by horses, traffic lights, and drink.
He tripped on old horse manure, and sprawled
Along the curb, favoring his broken back.
Chuckling through rot-gut fumes.
Pink graduates from morticians’ colleges
Scuttered like roaches out of septic tanks
And offered bids. They haled him out of sight.
Three days, he harrowed the white funeral home.
They priced his molars, calculated sums.
Giggled together if they cracked his thumbs.
Threaded the cat-gut, and sewed up his gums.