Dead Men

One summer doing maintenance work
at a university, Jimmy’s crew
had to move cadavers
for the medical school.
Chumley pulled a bag off,
said Hey Jimmy!
This here’s your buddy, man.
Wake up and say hello,
Chumley told
the corpse. He slipped a hammer
from his coveralls and whapped it
on the forehead, crunching bone.
Wake up, man, Chumley said,
then walked out
by the supply shed and got sick.
That was the easiest job,
Jimmy tells Rita. They didn’t
make us do a damn thing else
all summer. I want to be
burned, my ashes scattered
from here to New Jersey.
I don’t want no fucking assholes
to look at me.
Baby, I seen dead men.

:: Kim Addonizio, Jimmy & Rita (1997)

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