We all piled in that dawn, and it reeked
of bodies and junk food. Especially bodies.
Especially since none of us knew how
to wash our private parts correctly,
or none of the boys did. They brought with them a constant
death funk. We covered the smell with
weed stink and cigarillos. But that’s like perfume
over something rotting—when you peer
into the casket, no matter what
it’s a dead guy, and he belongs
to the beetles and the earth. As a child they tell you
so much about the depression
but never anything about the joy before.
I was always told my destiny was to leave the factory
lines. We all were. So when we drove out
towards Ardmore to shoot fireworks in unincorporated
fields we thought it was an Eden
not a tomb. We wanted our glory. But this
fervor was before our grandfathers lost
their pensions and our mothers lost their jobs,
before the car crashed into the St. Joseph River
to be trawled up years later, my friend Andy
still bespectacled, and long-haired, and inside.