Andrew Hemmert

Death Has a Thousand Pictures in the World

After a line by Brigit Pegeen Kelly

Of a common swallow. Of a common swallow
split open, and the beetle still ticking
in its stomach. Of a parking lot
where midnight children take their mothers’ cars
and start up the mountain towards their bodies.
Of the Virgin Mary’s portrait perched
on a cigarette display. Of a cigarette machine
with knobs like pinball, what catches the eye.
Of a stranger’s smile like a hook and line.
A mange-broken fox shadowing its way
through hedgerows and bedding down in domestic,
pesticide-royal grass. Of pesticides
in garages, and pesticides in lungs.
Of the spider and her venom, that marriage.