Implied Color

Bruce Cohen

According to squirrel-behavior
It’s going to be a bitch of a winter.
Barely October & blue collar
Squirrels already zippy
On Crystal Meth, acorns so scarce
They only appear on the black market.
So many of the people I love die

In October, the 20th to be exact. 
Just yesterday I commiserated
With my one remaining friend
That even a hollow man requires six
Compatriots to carry his coffin. 
Neither of us could even name two

Who would attend our funerals—
& though we joked with bravado,
We were both secretly horrified. 
I’ll carry you myself my friend said. 
But what if you die first I said; I’m
Much weaker than you.  I know, he said. 
You can circle the street corner in the ghetto

& recruit illegal men who huddle in the chilly
Dawn praying for a day’s labor, an honest
Life, cash under the table, a little dignity.
In Spain, pal, they hire professional mourners.
We will probably need them as well & audition
Temporary family members who’ll wail

At designated cues in the eulogy. 
Even the minister will have to fabricate
Our imaginary accomplishments,
Make our mundane sound like accolades,
Praise our pathetic masquerade on earth
As though it meant something to somebody
Other than our selfish, hoarding selves.