You Bring Out the Dead in Me
Not the living dead but the dead dead: the righteous dead 
who have waited for the pale horse so they can stop being 
so dead. You call forth the callused fingers of Johnny Cash 
softened during June-less weeks to my deadened 
surface. Everywhere, my skin is whirlpools of fingertips 
regaining sensation, waiting. You bring out all of the 
dead white men in me—entire anthologies of them, my spine 
cracking like a loose canon. Whitman & multitudes of dead 
or dying soldiers, Keats & Fanny, Hopkins & God all crowd 
up inside me, electric wires writhing. You rewind me to 
the moment the dead first began to outnumber the living, when 
Lazarus returned to tip the scales back, to stave off the inevitable. 
In the invisible cities of the dead, I walk star-lined streets, 
multiplied beyond endurance. You have resurrected 
the Rita Hayworth in me, the Mae West. And we all rise up, as good as dead.
Copyright © 2004–2023 Memorious