The bones under
the sod
shift and sway,
a lurid
We only wanted
to show due
reverence. We
only wanted
to do what
humans do
when faced with
the Final Black:
say something
like a prayer,
honor what’s gone,
and ask the
devil to give us
an eternal pass, we
who stayed behind.
Corey Mesler has published in numerous journals and anthologies, including The Esquire/Narrative4 Project and Good Poems, American Places (Viking Press, 2011). He has published six novels, Talk: A Novel in Dialogue (2002)We Are BillionYear-Old Carbon (2006)The Ballad of the Two Tom Mores (2010)Following Richard Brautigan (2010)Gardner Remembers (2011), and Frank Comma and the Time-Slip (2012), three full length poetry collections, Some Identity Problems(2008)Before the Great Troubling (2011), and Our Locust Years (2013), and three books of short stories, Listen: 29 Short Conversations (2009)Notes toward the Story and Other Stories (2011), and I’ll Give You Something to Cry About (2011). He has also published over a dozen chapbooks of both poetry and prose. He has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize numerous times, and two of his poems have been chosen for Garrison Keillor’s Writer’s Almanac. His fiction has received praise from John Grisham, Robert Olen Butler, Lee Smith, Frederick Barthelme, Greil Marcus, among others. With his wife, he runs Burke’s Book Store in Memphis, Tenn., one of the country’s oldest (1875) and best independent bookstores. He can be found at
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