How the Dead Speak

by Ken Craft

I wondered, but my brother claimed no,
it’s never the dead speaking all at once
when aspen leaves scratch shivery
dialects against midnight’s window.
Same for ocean surf, he said,
when waves of foam and foment
break out in sizzle and doubt.

The dead don’t speak individually, either,
he insisted, so forget that fat insect ping
on summer’s screen and any wisdom gleaned.
Hard-wrought words like that
are dismissed by bodies alive
and preoccupied, he assured me.
Mere bluebottle buzz, they’ll say,
or bumble bee drunk on blooming day.

More likely than any of this?
As my brother not only predicted
but eventually proved himself,
the dead speak not at all.

Night appears outside windows.
Winds fall.
Seas flatten black.

Ken Craft ‘s poems have appeared in The Writer’s Almanac, Verse Daily, One, South Florida Poetry Journal, Pedestal Magazine, and numerous other journals and e-zines. He is the author of Lost Sherpa of Happiness (Kelsay Books) and The Indifferent World (FutureCycle Press). His third collection, Reincarnation & Other Stimulants, will appear in 2021.

 

Photography by: Nik Radzi