No First Names, Please

the last time i went to fifth street cemetery
it was a cold rendezvous. i don't
even like using the word rendezvous,
'cause it's french (they deplore us, a cemetery is filled with love)
plus i don't know what it means.
unc was in the back, covered by dying kentucky grass,
headstone pointed menacingly at God, shadows crawling
like larvae. the quiet of a ball field, divorce-quiet, so you can read the names without the distraction of meaning.
there were birds and bird shit; trees were mostly for them.
there seems to be no shade in a graveyard.

i had brought a cot
and a good book and did prey upon
my subconscious for the question to their answers.
it was like being a be-headed court jester,
nobody's pleased, but everyone's in on the joke but you.
everyone cooling in the cemetery anyway.
couldn't take it: i just got back in my car and drove in circles
until i fell asleep.

by Russell Kennerly

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