Exhumations at the Burying Point


Dirt in dirt, the living
Work to resurrect
The decaying ones

Jaws, mattocks, heavy
Hands ripping, tearing
In the earth. Plumes
Of breath betray the breathing.

Upturned roots and dregs, souls
Spun up, set right again. Captured
From the clutches of a heaven or a
Hell. Light-washed unlike they’ve

Been before. Would that we’d be
Handled in life the way these men
Are coddled after—with regard
Reserved for kings and pharaohs.

Lain out to shake the smell of
Death, to feel the living air, to steal
The sunshine from the sky. To be
Made whole again.