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Monday, August 27, 2007


by Rochelle Ratner

He's getting buried in the morning! Ding dong! The bells are gonna chime. Pull out the stopper! Let's have a whopper! But get him to the morgue on time! He's twenty years old. His motorcycle lies by the side of the creek, and the water's rising rapidly. They might have killed him, but they didn't get the bike. His father and brothers drag his body further from the water, but it's nearly impossible in this mud. They've been waiting five hours now. The hearse is busy retrieving the bodies of other murdered sons, those who have no motorcycles left. The stench is becoming unbearable. Finally his father flags down a taxi. This is in Caracas. And there probably won't be any bells.

Rochelle Ratner's latest poetry books include Leads (Otoliths Press, 2007), Balancing Acts (Marsh Hawk Press, 2006), Beggars at the Wall (Ikon, 2006) and House and Home (Marsh Hawk Press, 2003). She is the author of fifteen previous poetry collections and two novels (Bobby’s Girl and The Lion’s Share) both published by Coffee House Press). More information and links to her writing on the Internet can be found on her homepage.