Death Gets into the Suburbs

By Michelle Boisseau Michelle Boisseau
It sweats into the tongue and groove
of redwood decks with a Tahoe view.
It slides under the truck where some knuckles

are getting banged up on a stuck nut.
It whirls in the egg whites. Among blacks
and whites spread evenly. Inside the chicken

factory, the Falcon 7x, and under the bridge.

There’s death by taxi, by blood clot, by slippery rug.
Death by oops and flood, by drone and gun.

Death with honor derides death without.
Realpolitik and offshore accounts
are erased like a thumb drive lost in a fire.

And the friendly crow sets out walnuts to pop under tires.

So let’s walk the ruins, let’s walk along the ocean
and listen to death’s undying devotion.

Source: Poetry (January 2012).


This poem originally appeared in the January 2012 issue of Poetry magazine

January 2012
 Michelle  Boisseau


Michelle Boisseau was awarded a 2010 NEA fellowship.  Her fourth book of poems, A Sunday in God-Years, was published in 2009 by University of Arkansas Press which also published her third, Trembling Air, a PEN USA finalist, 2003. Her textbook, Writing Poems (Longman), is in its 8th edition. She is professor of English at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, Death, Time & Brevity

POET’S REGION U.S., Midwestern

Poetic Terms Couplet, Free Verse

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