28 May 2008

Daniel Nathan Terry

[from Daniel Nathan Terry's Capturing the Dead, 2007]

Noah Williams

Harvest of Death
Negative by Timothy O'Sullivan
5 July 1863 Gettysburg

Spread-eagle on the field
of Gettysburg
the dead arch their backs

as if the ground they lie upon
won't forgive them
and wants them gone,

as if pulled
by ropes hooked
into their breastbones.

Their torsos swell
toward Heaven
as if the Lord

has only this
small mercy left.
Or is it as simple

as the grip of death
and decay:
muscles tensing

before finally letting go,
hollow bellies
full of vapor? Is it as natural

as the orchard in the valley —
these windfall men
ripened and ready

for the camera to commence
its thorough
and slow gathering?

No comments:

Post a Comment