After Tomaž Šalamun
Before I died, I could hear singing from under ash heaps. Motor oil dripped a rosary on the blacktops. I rose with vapor from August dew. I dueled with oak branches.
I walked through my smoldering city, whistling. Not one cloud, but you couldn't see the sun. Keep going, I thought, you can sleep under trestles and loot as you wish. Heat exhaled through cracks in the sidewalks.
Red ants stormed an apricot pit. I stole an extra pair of socks off a dead man. Birds behaved like birds—that is, like the reptiles from which they're descended.
Flashlights burned white, then amber, then not at all. I carried somebody's mother on my back. We sank into mud up to my knees, my thighs, my waist, while God called out, Get over here, and right this minute.