Film of the Building of a Coffin Viewed in Reverse
The little tacks that pinned the satin in fall out like baby teeth. The satin passes back through its fantasy of becoming a prom dress, all the way back to the silkworms in the mulberry. The pillow blows apart and the down darts back into the plucked goose. The black lab swims backwards with the bird in his mouth: the goose flutters up into the sky and flies backwards with the flock into the north country as the shell inhales the lead shot and the shell itself returns to the oiled dark of the gun. The hammer kisses the nails back out of the wood. The nails pass from his white lips to his dark pockets. The screws spin out on the roads of brass and the boards part ways. The boards, of heavy ash, lay stacked along the wall for a night. The hands of the clock over the workbench spin counterclockwise. Come morning the boards return to the mill and converge into trees that float back into the woods in search of their stumps like the phantom limbs of amputees. They know which ones are theirs by the rings, swing up onto them and heal. The birds that were scared off by the roar of the chainsaw come back. The dead man gets up off the floor and his broken cup becomes whole again. He puts it to his lips and fills it with coffee from his mouth, coffee that grows hotter and blacker.