After Reading John Milton I Lie Down in Sarah Bernhardt’s Coffin

Cover of Planet of the and dog....

You know how it is, late in the day
Milton’s angels in your throat—

Here comes the delivery van
Sturdy men lugging the thing.

My great-grandfather—a wheelwright
Built caskets from stray boards

But hers doubled as a coffee table
With this extra trick:

Guests went home, she played in her grave
Clutching one pink peony.

I remember my first undertaker’s smile,
Churlish, white–flash

Of exceptional teeth, then his lips
Remembering to cover the gravestones

But not before his awkward flex;
“You can’t afford the Conquistador,

The casket that conquers death.”
Sarah, drink your marl-ish ichor.

Milton, Sola fides, let’s play cards.

Author: skuusisto

Poet, Essayist, Blogger, Journalist, Memoirist, Disability Rights Advocate, Public Speaker, Professor, Syracuse University

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