In my front yard a man in a bulldozer has dug a grave.
They say it’s for a fire hydrant. It looks sepulchral—
a ladder descends into the earth as if you could take the
stairs right to hell. Last night, a collared tabby appeared
out of the sewer and circled the hole. I want to tell you
how brave she looked, sitting on the lip of the abyss.
I want, like the cat, to know what eternity smells like.
She wore a collar around her neck. Maybe it felt like prison.
Maybe it felt like a blessing tethering her to an Earth she’d
like, for one ecstatic moment, to leave. For now, death is
our only access to the multiverse, and a man I know got to go
this morning. He was not a nice man. At the end, he did not
believe he would die, though perhaps he felt his body slowly
sloughing itself off, soft mask. I don’t know how to mourn
a cruel man. Though I reach for it, all my beauty deserts me,
my wings do not unfold. I cook thinly sliced apples in butter.
I beat eggs. There are very few transformations allowed here.
This is one. Glory. Some men cannot give themselves
to life. Glory. These men are the most reluctant to die. Glory.
I sit at the lip of the abyss. I can smell it. Glory, glory.
Katie Schmid‘s work has been published in decomP, The Rumpus, and The Establishment, among other places. She lives in Lincol