The Living Dead

Erin Keane


We went away to Pittsburgh for a lovers'
weekend, which, really, was weird enough,

drove out to the cemetery in the opening
scene of Romero's Night of the Living Dead

horror pilgrims, wish-you-were-heres with
bloody postmarks. I love you like zombies

love bad movies, and I would follow
a sarcophagus fly across the stylish Alps

to guest-star in your fevered prog-rock
dreams, so we find the stone where Barbra

caught herself and Johnny went down
fighting—they wanted to visit their father's

grave. I confess: I have never visited mine,
nearly 30 years tamped, but someday

you'll slip your hand in mine on some exotic
trip to Long Island, and we will stand

in the shadow of a stone-faced angel,
we will soak the soil with Guinness

and wail a sea shanty: what will you do
with a drunken sailor, so earl-aye in the morning?

Take him to Pittsburgh, let him meet
my love. He is dead and this is a dream

and the fly cannot know my heart. When
he reanimates, whisper a prayer, aim

for the bulls-eye brow, oh cross of ash
and dirt, X that marks the living spot.