"The Deaths of Some People" by William Taylor Jr.

The thing is the longer you stick around

the more everything turns to ghosts

and I wander the city

dying of everything

and nothing in particular

tired of poets

and the news of the world

with all the headlines telling me

how the deaths of some people

matter more than others

though I guess it's good not having

to decide such things on my own

I'm also tired of people who look good in suits

while taking weekend getaways

to beach towns in Mexico I've never heard of

those with the audacity to have been born

beautiful and of use

and live as if death were some half-witted underling

you could slip a fiver to and send on its way

they're out there right now shopping

attending yoga classes and poetry workshops

doing any number of other things

I've seen on big TVs in little bars while

transcribing loneliness to tattered notebooks

and back home I manage to sweep the kitchen

wash the dishes and take a bath, as these are all endeavors

one is rarely called upon to explain

I consider finding a poetry workshop

in which I might offer up these words

to find out if they're any good

and I remember I don't like poetry workshops

so I just dress them up as best I can

I put them out on the sidewalk

with a few dollars and a paper-bag lunch

if they have what it takes

they'll make it somewhere

if not they'll fall away like

any other ill-born thing

and that'll be the end of it.