Your Last Sad Vehicle

Keep watching those funerals —

how they launch black sedans
over cemetery landscapes,
stop them by a new grave
where the body enters orbit
around a darkness we can’t see.
Keep looking at widows —
how their tears eat mascara,
their faces a jittery mask
that grief shakes like a tree,
releasing poisonous fruit
on the unrelenting earth.
Keep imagining yourself
in your last sad vehicle,
lowered by a steel machine
into your past, the only thing
left for you to dream about,
as the future takes off without you.
Keep leaving white stones
that are chiseled with names
and dates you’ll never know,
some too young, others old,
all of them carrying death,
the last child they had to birth.
Keep staying inside your home —
so guns won’t blast you,
knives won’t cut your throat,
fire won’t taste your skin,
heart will continue beating,
blood won’t find a way out.

Donald Illich

Donald Illich has published poetry in journals such as The Iowa Review, Fourteen Hills, and Cold Mountain Review. He won Honorable Mention in the Washington Prize book contest. He recently published a chapbook, The Art of Dissolving.