Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Rabbit Poem for JK

Those are rabbit ears
Sticking straight up, like television antennae
From that pile of meat and intestine on the road
And that is a patch of brown fur
Soft like my sun-warmed cat on a bright morning.

That’s what happens.  One day your body is a miracle
Of function, a machine that turns food into
Ideas, a bundle of engines and pumps and converters connected
By neat rivers of blood carrying oxygen
To cells, which are also machines,
A trillion of them, pumping in symphony,
A masterpiece.

And then another day, it could be any day, just,
Bam, you get smashed
In the street.  One bad day,
Wrong risk taken. The car, the gun, the virus,
The overdose, the heart
That just stops. The perfect thing
Crushed into a mess of sticky unfixableness.

I think someone wrote a poem about this already.
I think someone wrote ten thousand poems
About this. It’s just so
Obvious.  But I can’t help sticking on it.
Blood on fur, organs collapsed, tiny perfect ears.

Do you think someone loved him? Did he have little rabbit
Cousins, who used to hop by his burrow
For some killer carrot cake? Did he use
His little rabbit paw to stamp tiny
Rabbit paintings into the soft mud by the hedge?

Did he ever smack that paw
Against a friend’s face, say, “You need
To get your life together, stop running
In the street, before you get
Yourself killed.”

Not bothering to mention how the other rabbits
Said the same about him, that he scared them
That he had darkness inside him, that he
Sought out drama, danger.  That he was weird.
That the brightness of his anger, the
Fierceness of his pain was easier to set aside
To deal with later, to forget.

When he disappeared, did they say,
“Oh, that’s so sad.  But hardly
Unexpected.”  Were they just a little

I know someone wrote a poem about this already.
I know they wrote a hundred thousand
Poems, but it sticks with me.  No point
Dwelling on it. But I can’t stop

Piecing this stinking garbage pile back
Into a rabbit, gathering the stomach
And intestines and spleen, stringing veins
Like tinsel, puzzling together bits
Of skull and brain.

And last, those ears, sticking
Straight up like antennae, tiny ears striped
Through with tiny veins, tiny blood cells
Carrying the unmeasurable love and suffering of the universe
From ear to brain to heart.