(from) Lies

(from) Lies
Tom C. Hunley

Here lies Tom C. Hunley
who died of happiness and who
consisted mostly of water
which could have resided
in a goldfish bowl or gone woosh
down a drain or been lapped up
from a doggy dish but instead
got to have a childhood
and later children,
got to smell woodsmoke
and taste Japanese pears
and was sometimes asked for
an opinion about these shoes
or those shoes and does God
exist and how shall I vote
and do the guitarists need
to pull back a bit here
so the bass can cut through

Because he consisted mostly
of water, everyone could see
through him, summer sun made him sweat,
and winter winds made him ice

He poured himself on every
flower he could, loved every garden,
gave stars a chance to reflect
and secrets a deep, dark place to hide

He found another body
of water, merged with it,
his body a glass that overflowed because of happiness
it couldn’t contain,

Somewhere out there, like the truth
floats Major Tom C. Hunley
helmet on, engines on
thrilled to star in a David Bowie song
but why couldn’t it be Ziggy Stardust
or China Girl or even Let’s Dance

He could have been clubbed
by a superhero or hate crimed
by a Capulet instead of floating
in this tin can,

Each of his molecules misses Ralaina

They miss soil and wish
for a proper burial

They miss stones that sit still
as if posing for photos
unlike these asteroids
that knock on his space craft
and then ricochet away
like trick-or-treaters
at the home of a man with no candy

Major Tom C. Hunley rose and vanished
like vapor on a lake
or like birdsong
no one would ever hear
in a sky so dark
even Death says a little prayer
and a curse word or two
while fumbling for a light switch
that isn’t there,

Here lies Tom C. Hunley
killed in a car wreck
by a cop chasing a 2am drunk driver

The cop’s face kept turning blue
and then disappearing as his light flashed
and the screams of his siren
swirled above this scene
that no amount of yellow tape
could un-Humpty Dumpty

Dying, Tom C. Hunley saw moonlight
as soft and pale as a breast,
muttered moonlight as soft
and pale as a breast

and felt the mouthful of syllables
soft and pale as a breast

The shocked cop dialed up
a sleepy ambulance driver
who raced to the cross street
of Life and Afterlife
to chase after Death
while Tom C. Hunley’s body
soaked in the beauty of the stars
which, as The Silver Jews sang,
are the headlights of angels,
fallen angels, in this case,
nogoodniks who had just jumped
Tom C. Hunley’s guardian angel
into their gang,

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