Muriel Nelson
Remains


La Muerte wore taffeta
and rattled castanets.
Viva! they shouted to la Muerte.

Der Tod wore nothing.
If you kissed der Tod was silent
as he fixed your wide-opened mouth.

Viva! earth is buzzing.
Where you stand is one mass grave.
DENTIST SAVES, reads a headline, FROM OBLIVION.

Open wide - it's your extraction -
for the record. Earth is hard.
It shifts (loud rattles, taps). You start.

Then your identity gets stolen
if your lover, quite alive,
discovers in your throat a noisy heart.