artwork: ralph murre
Henry's Last Dream Song
(In Honor of John Berryman)
by Jimmy Pappas
Suicides always try to cheat death
by dying: Sylvia chose the warm oven
despite the different buzz
in her ear, the tingling sensation of life's breath
trying to reach the dulled mind. Everyone
followed in rapid succession,
leaving poor Henry at the end of the race,
wondering if his turn would ever come
& shouting 'Wait for me!'
So Henry, hot shit, him no fool,
him leave his Inner Resources all ova da place
for da cops to pick up.
And what I want to know is what went on
in Henry's mind as he fell like a man
in an unstoppable dream
clutches blankets struggling hard to yell.
Tell me, Mr. Bones, was he surprised
by the loudness of his scream?
~ previously published in Goodreads and
subsequently in Dead Snakes