CONJUNCTIONS:67, Other Aliens (Fall 2016)

Walking Dead Love Songs
Laura Sims


I was born
and then I died.

I was born and then
I died fighting. I was

born and then I died fighting zombies while the sand
ran out of the holes in my hands back down to the bottom
of the ocean. I was born and then I died fighting zombies like my mother

and her mother before her and her mother’s
mother. Women have it so bad, we’ve got
holes in our hands and in our hearts where the babies
have pierced them

Ouch. I was born and then I died watching TV. I came back

I was born and then I died watching zombies die on TV. I held my
remote like a saber and hoped pushing buttons would make me the
man whose smooth hands are dappled with dust-speckled light from
the redolent land of Arcadia. The smooth-handed man takes up his bow,
knocks the arrow

The arrow goes thwack
when it pierces
the eye. That’s how they die

I was born and then I died leaning close to you, singing, pouring words in a river down your small pink ear through the channels to your brain made of subatomic particles like neutrons, perhaps, though I’m not sure, because

I died. Everything in sight smacks of hedonistic lassitude. A box of soft tissues filled with lotion and a bottle of Chablis. The babe, the sweet babe, on a blanket, unarmed. He was born and then
eventually
I’ll die




 





Three unnamed criminals, first. Then
a zombified child. Two former people
named Leon and Hannah. A family horse.
Wayne (bitten), Ed (eaten), and thirteen
anonymous lives. Amy, sweet Amy, shot once
in the head. “Out of mercy,” it says. Jim
died of infection. Two Drs. Jenner, and Jacqui,
who chose to explode. The way the wind
billows a motorbike cover. Stepping over a
tea bag squashed on the street. My husband
says, fondly, What’s left of your brain is decaying
at breakneck speed
. The woman in front
of me’s long blonde hair. Almost white. The yellow-
billed loon sounds like someone is laughing—

                                                       At me? At me?




 





I want it all: wall clocks
T-shirts

dog tags mugs dolls

The fleece throw
with Michonne

The poster of you
when your hair was too short
with your
crossbow

The bracelet hitching
my heart
to your name

I’m not thinking

of how I’m bewitched
and belittled
by corporate
dominion

or how I’ve been
yoked
to a man-shaped
ghost

I’m just thinking

At last
the fourth wall
has dissolved

and

My love is
incarnate
forever




 





Inside the dream inside
the car it’s dusk your back’s

against the window which
the dead. Our talk grows

leaves and stems and
passionless as dust. The light is low

the dead are rumbling like
the thunder in a show your hair

is slicked with great precision
by your ears. You are

my own and someone
forty million else’s

how your thigh
lies close to mine and psychically

we meld but we
eternally untouching

look ahead, into the windshield
where the view is of the future

rotting-jawed and so un-
fruitfully unslakable the dead




 





You broke
down the bodies
saying feed me
belabor my soul
in the scraped
bowl of summits

the kings all around

crossing snow
we wore sinews
and hides all the
hellish long haul

               Survival
takes time. It takes
place in the mind

Who’ll cleanse
& align the charred
morsels of story
we sell

                the hacked limbs
                the fouled mouth
                the hard heart or

the litter of coins
dropped out like a
birth in the stream
running loud down
god’s mountain’s
improvident thigh




 





When the train
comes at last
bearing humans

the woman still
eating her husband’s face

looks up
flesh burning

the dry white sheet of the past: I can almost

see the new
season from here



Laura Sims’s most recent poetry collection is Staying Alive (Ugly Duckling). Her first book, Practice, Restraint, was the winner of the 2005 Fence Books Alberta Prize, and in 2014 she edited Fare Forward: Letters from David Markson (powerHouse).