Where Somebody Died

The self  refuses to appear
         in this bare place.
It fears that mute chair
         and the still window.
The sunlight scares it.
There might rise up a sound.
The door doesn’t like to move,
         and the crow out there
         hesitates; he knows
         a hole flown into by mistake
         would make a bite of   him.
What was sits standstill in the chair,
         hangs, stunned, against the dry-eyed light.
Nobody in sight.
Inanimate things, still  lifeless.
This room’s so empty
         I doubt I’m standing here;
         there can’t be room for me
         and total emptiness.
Only some far-off sounds persist.
The brute truck
         over the interstate.
The flames in the incinerator
         chewing his old vests.


This poem is part of a special section of Poetry magazine's May issue

Eleanor Ross Taylor, "Where Somebody Died" from Captive Voices. Copyright © 2009 by Eleanor Ross Taylor. Reprinted by permission of Louisiana State University Press.
Source: Captive Voices (Louisiana State University Press, 2009)
More Poems by Eleanor Ross Taylor