A Rite; Self Monument

Allyson Paty

A Rite

When a person dies the hours. That comprise
a total life. Have stripped their clothes
and buried them in mud. The days have.
Shaved their perfect heads. Floated the hair
downriver. And out. Out to sea. A body
of water where day. After day the ships are.
Carrying their freight. To market to uses
to garbage. Once beyond the shore where
land. Is worked and fucked and full for
harvest. Like a field in wartime the weeks
have already lit themselves. Have smoldered.
And we with our timeless. Ashes to rake.

Self Monument

Let the movie of my life be episodic, arcless.

All of the dressing & undressing stitched together.

All of the walking. All paying

& receiving change.

In one sense

My life’s work is dishes.

It’s nothing to do with gender.

There is a beginning, middle, & end

To the washing. To letting dry.

The hands go red.

Prepare my eyes for the end of seeing

With fly ash & soot. On the one hand,

Site of standing & crisis.

On the other,

Men & their lungs.

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