Saturday, October 25, 2014

Dead Babies Float

Industrial steel door
economy size
fatality of dreams
under refrigeration
I told you this many, many years ago
that our moments are only moments
mere pixie dust
suspended in time
yet we remain crushed
by their weight
and chained to their fading canvases
unwilling to let go -

I martyr myself like a motherfucker
in a black suit and tie
opening that huge steel door
41 degrees
embalming room
bucket behind the door
42 degrees
slight fluctuations
it’s fine, expected - would be weird if it wasn't
bodies must remain cold
this is what the old book meant by purgatory
inside waiting - for the last brush stroke
or penned word in their final chapter
the ritual of disposal
the flesh tent must leave our sight
our sound, our mental minds
stability requires this
so we can predicate the illusion
and propagate the falsification of self
those are big words, lofty ideas
I venture into the big chill
grab the bucket
and begin.

Mortician, me
director of funerals
some silly nonsense
I suppose a paycheck and a title
makes you more self aware
I take the bucket out of the refrigeration unit
it’s heavy in smell - chemical formaldehyde
I set it down on the embalming table
take off the lid
the fumes fire off in my nostrils fast
not a moment to step back from the onslaught
my eyes water
I see the top of a bald, grayish head
floating in a pink stew of embalming fluid
at that instance
my soul believes in amusement parks
and wants to dance
I hear a romantic waltz by Johann Strauss
cotton candy, teddy bears
I see the death of my own innocence
and the innocence of all those
that have trudged this earth before me
but this baby must be preserved
for shipping purposes
must return home
along with the dead corpse
of a 20 year old female
mommy committed suicide
by leaping from a freeway overpass
and baby died inside
shortly there after.

Now the fetus floats in a bucket -
Damn it!

The top of it’s head has been peaking out
over the fluid it’s submerged in
perhaps not getting
the full effect of the embalming treatment
I think, “I’ll add some more water and chemical,”
I start to fill up the bucket
but the baby just rises along with it
and the top of the head still sticks out . . .

“Shit! Dead babies float.”
Just my fucking luck
I suppose if white men can jump
and grizzly bears can shit in the woods
dead babies can float
but why do they have to do it
at the end of the day
on Friday.

I drain the fluid
prop the baby upright against the circular wall of the bucket
apply some topical cream with preserving chemical
wad up some webril
grab a head block
secure the fetus upright
stabilize the head at each side
using the webril wads
place the lid back on the bucket
put the bucket back in the refrigeration unit
close the door
dreams dead behind a locked door
no more dreaming, a shut door -

“Okay - that’s good. The embalming chemical will slowly slip done from the head
into the esophagus and things will be alright, as much as they can be . . .”

I check my wrist watch -
13 minutes past 5 o’clock
not bad
still plenty of time left in the evening
to poison my mind
with whiskey and cheap women.

I adjust my tie
fish for my car keys
inside the darkness of pockets
still believing the illusion
still self aware
everything is fine
just breathe
it’s not your fault
dead babies float.

Not your fault at all . . .

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