Friday, March 1, 2013


For Last Poet Standing
Week seven: Book Swap: Warm Bodies

Warm Body
like red silk streamed
stained my hands
and tears
sting the cut on my face
but not his
he doesn’t wince
never again
despite the angry wound
left shoulder
a mess of muscle
ripped through
by lead
in the fire fight
that left the undead still
and our people breathing
but his breath was ragged
as harsh as whispers in the night
or broken glass
and our people said to me
them as what were our friends
because the hole in him 
left him wounded
a liability
and I said,
hands streaked with warmth,
so they left
because the hole in me
left me wounded
a liability
and the two of us
were lost and alone
without aid
without meds
without faith
or hope of sunrise
and for a short while
we cry-laughed
we always thought our end would come
by two ways
from the eaters
them as what thrive on human flesh
or by our own weakness, 
longing desire to find the paradise beyond
because whatever hell might be waiting
was worth the risk
to leave this one
we never thought it’d be numbers
but his body was hot under my hand
though we had no shelter but cardboard wreckage
and grew hotter still
102, 104,
and he said, go,
as I cleaned him
blood soaking through my shirt hem
all I had left to give
and I would have given more if I could
would have given everything
but in this world of temporary trust
and running
always running
I had nothing else to give
but prayers to heaven unheard
was the last thing he said to anyone
except my name
whispered through fever’s hold
and each one made wider my wound
and I held him
him as what owned my heart
still warm
his blood stopped
and had no more tears to give
nothing but numbness
and a realization of the truth
that he was gone
and I’d soon follow
because my gun was empty 
walkers a mile away proof of that
still as the death that held them twice now
and I
streaked with brown and red
couldn’t leave his still warm body
the fever’s trick
My body is icy, and wants nothing more than
I’d welcome it, away from my cold, his warmth
Somehow, though
I will fight on
as long as my name, his voice, echoes on my heart
As long as I can, but no longer
Find a place for him
find a place for me
safety, if such a thing
still has definition
but someday I’ll
join the paradise he’s inherited
where it’s rain that streaks my clothes
not grime 
not blood
where the only things that soar
are birds and song
not temperatures
not bullets
Where bodies are warm
with life and living
not illness
not waking death
but now, I’m lost and alone
without aid
without meds
without faith
or hope of sunrise
the sun does rise
and me with it.
but not him
his body cooling on pavement.
I’ll go, still streaked
with his heart blood
like red silk
stained my hands
and tears
stinging the cut on my face
I’ll go into the dawn
and find him again
when this is all over.

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