Corpse Pose

Jason Koo

It occurs to me that maybe these flies
Think I am dead. Nipping at my face
As I lie baking in the morning light
Like a gorgeous corpse. There is
My hand, turning over slowly, still
Useful, how many words written,
Spoons scooped, breasts and shoulders
Caressed. No body here with me
Except this body. A man’s body,
Grown and alone. Tired. Terrible.
Last night I woke at 5 AM neatly
On top of my bed, fully clothed,
Bag of Butterfingers beside me.
What possessed me to get these things.
I don’t remember coming home,
Arranging myself so on the bed.
The flies I can’t get rid of, moving in
When I moved in and opened all
The windows to cool the movers
As they lugged my boxes and boxes
And boxes of books up and down
Five flights of stairs in the summer heat
And sudden rain. My first nights here
I slept on the couch in one room
Unable to make enough space
To build my bed in the other.
Everything from our large life together
Squashed in two small rooms.
The books feeling more and more
Material, an arbitrary stacking of weights
Surrounding slim me. No interest
Now in who to put together
On the shelves and why, so many
Books unread and never to be
Read, even the books that mattered
Mattering less or not mattering at all,
Though palpably, painfully, matter.
Without food out, what do the flies eat?
How do they stay alive? Perhaps
They’re confused by me, waiting
For my corpse to stop heaving forward
Just when they thought it still
For good. But here I am again, writhing
From bed, inexplicably a consciousness
Concocted, nothing to eat in these ongoing
Rooms—just me and my possessions.