Ambiguous Loss

To be clear, this is my third eulogy, first time
Disputing a transaction, but G_____’s hidebehind,
As he called it, is among us here. Raised in the factory,
Its seasons turning pistons, it crawls the corridors
Gnawing men into money: casket light

As a debit card, remains so sparse they’d fit
Within a handshake. How I see it, what’s left
Of G_____ rests well within the public domain:
Counterfeits strangle this wreath: photos: mementos
Mŏro. Paraphernalia filling in the gaps. Mourning:

Pure pyramid scheme. Until it’s too much, and we gaze
Into our watermarked palms. Understand, tonight
It will redo us on top of our shadows. That’s its language;
A grind inarticulate, it manufactures like we pray:
Manu-, as in hands, the shadows they gesture. How

We bailed G_____’s fingers out of pauper’s jail,
Then glutted that hidebehind with flowers and photos
Until it grew too vague to describe from your pews,
Like hell squared or NASDAQ bleeding:
Consider this eulogy a harrowing, as in carrying home

On hooks, to be cleaned in the sink like a baby
Or a fresh catch. How police dragged its habitat
For a sample so small no God would bother suing us
For looping it, though all rights revert to Him
Upon publication. Omni-, as in ambi-, as in

-Dextrous, -guous, -valent. Consider the absent form
Credit, and learn the legalese to collect what’s yours. This,
To be clear, is my third eulogy, and those are often more
Arrogant: You’re all free to celebrate small blessings,
But I, steeped in bodiless breath, will be charging by the word.


Christopher Munde’s first poetry collection, Slippage (Tebot Bach, 2019), won the Patricia Bibby Award, and his poems have previously appeared in Beloit Poetry Journal, Blackbird, The Literary Review, Massachusetts Review, Notre Dame Review, Third Coast, West Branch, and elsewhere.  He is a graduate of the University of Houston’s MFA program and the recipient of an Academy of American Poets Prize.  Presently, he lives and teaches in western NY.

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