obituary for mary

 

we leave behind mary, wrapped in yellowed gauze,

on our trip to the river. above, gulls curve their wings

 

into the delicate sun’s light — feathers bent on the radio

wave static, and i call out to them, the spongy earth trembling

 

beneath us, the last remnants of buried shooting stars. mary was gone

before the fall, sleeping in a ditch out by the River Bar where we once

 

swallowed the ghost of a good drink. mary worshiped the radio shrine;

now, a whole jukebox gurgles drunk with static in the river bottom,

 

and we wade through the shallows, backs gleaming honey

gold as we sink deeper, deeper. i call out to mary, but she is

 

not here, gauzy and unblinking, ungleaming and bloated

— a slow-drowned ghost sunk and suffocated, thrown

 

overboard only miles away from where Las Vegas

meets Babylon and the wide river.