Timothy Pilgrim is a Pacific Northwest poet from Bellingham, Washington, who has published more than 170 poems.
I'm in some black shop,
building a coffin for my lover.
Each upright must be perfect,
bubble in the level centered
between red lines -- steady,
middle of storm, moon full,
exactly midnight, current gone
in deep pool, stopped at the middle,
dark, still, cool. Casket lid
must be aligned, tight fit --
able to shut out the past,
a whole stream of memories.
Painted onyx, deadline late June,
be wide enough for two.
Quid pro quo
Wasps lie in wait, ambush fruit flies
near ripening peaches, plums, grapes.
They inject prey with eggs --
not by using stingers.
Baby wasps within, feeding on them,
the flies buzz off, woozy, beeline it
to nearest brandy snifter,
slip over the rim, crawl down in,
sip a bit, swim. They know alcohol
kills drunks, politicians, and wasps.
One whiff of good stuff will do. Some flies
hang out in a Hennessy's glass for hours
on pretense of ridding themselves of wasps.
Rumor has it Iranians are training brigades
of fruit flies. To counter this threat,
wasps in formation have been seen
careening low over Los Alamos,
egg guns sewn to gossamer wings.
Six ounces late
Clock hands stand at nine miles --
no way to know how many grams pass
before my time. Yet I am optimistic,
bask celsius in shadows of deceased,
believe kilometers, not mere feet,
tick through veins, surge down arteries,
arrive at a heart several metric tons deep.
I am prepared to vacuum ash-filled souls
into endless infinities of somethingness,
spurt happiness over a three-pint universe,
spew forth boxed sets of five-liter lives.
Hopeful, brined giddy, full of fahrenheit,
I weigh in, time existence, measure fate.
As expected, death is six ounces late.