Grimsley Hole


The dead don’t seem to mind me wand’ring here.
Appears that none of them had their last rites.
Eternally sleepless, in desert dry,
inhabit they this township, Grimsley Hole.
A ghastly sight to see, their mummified
proportions wrapped in skin like dried jerky
that’s too long smoked. No eyes have they within
their skulls, but with sunken shadows they gaze.
The gentlemen, with ladies on their arms,
no less repugnant for the fine clothing
they wear, nor are their women less loathsome
when with embroidered silk about their hips
they swaggering the sidewalk go. I’m here,
and they treat me better than most which come
visit this Grimsley Hole. Others entered
—and some have even left alive to tell—
yet I do come and go as if to them
invisible—a ghost to ghosts am I.
I’ve watched them day and night, winter through spring,
and seen their undead lives lived out which must
not ever end until the curse be broke.
That’s why, I think, they let me here alone:
they hope I might undo another’s work.
Yet I, a murderer, in this preacher’s
stolen collar am little hope to these
damned souls, these people stuck in limbo’s mire.


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