The Musical Corpses
To Mary Norman
The painter loved her monsters. And she knew
She would die young, and her poet-husband
Would stay, alive in their home, to care
For their adult children and to mourn her.
That morning she drew the standing carcasses
Of four old bodies, each one with a big, deep, belly button
In the middle of an expanded abdomen
That gave them the secret resemblance of a violin.
They were all waiting, expecting to be asked and played, longing
To be heard again, even to sound another person’s voice, wanting
To be useful -though dead- like the organic matter of the trees
Before someone new’s hands transforms it into music.