Talking to the Dead

Late at night, you come
back like a police car,
black and white, prowling
the shadowed streets,
looking for the house 
you left, the burglar
trying to get back in.

My suicide never came.
Back and forth in my head,
it roams like an ambulance
lost in the streets.
I still hear it wailing
toward hospital or home.
I’m never sure.

But for you, my dear,
dull from the lead
of one bullet
ripping your top off
like a rocket, you left
through a hole
in the side of your head.

Oh, which home
do I live in?
the one you killed––
or the one I’ve made?
Now, at odd hours,
a mailman knocks 
at the door.

He adds this address
to a list on his fingers.
Who am I? he asks.
Your brother’s keeper,
my uncle, the one I forgot,
who canceled himself 
in the Post Office parking lot.

Tim Mayo’s poems and reviews have appeared in Narrative Magazine, Poetry International, Poet Lore, River Styx, Salamander, San Pedro River Review, Tar River Poetry, Web Del Sol Review, Verse Daily, and The Writer’s Almanac.  His collection The Kingdom of Possibilities was published by Mayapple Press in 2009. He’s a four time Pushcart Prize Nominee.

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