The Death of Me and Underworld

by Howie Good


Shut up – please! The dog continues barking. I go to the window. It’s only some neighborhood kids and what looks from here like the long, vicious contrail of a marauding angel.

I wait toward the front of the line of mourners for my turn. This is the last kindness any of us will ever do her. I try to be careful. My shovelful of earth still explodes when it hits the lid of the coffin.

The flag outside the town post office is flying at half-mast. I wonder as we drive by who has died. You don’t know either.

I tell myself sometimes that it’s not death I fear, but the sensation of dying – a foot coming down and not finding ground.




Traveling through streets of winos, we held hands the whole time, the driver taking us wherever he had been paid to go. I lowered my eyes when you spoke of home, the curious blue fog, a funeral attended by only four mourners. I wanted to say something, too, but it was now night and rainy, and I had just enough body to keep a soul in.

I went to bed sick and woke up no better – worse, in fact – a solar system being built from cannibalized parts. The daily bullshit had an odd but not unpleasant odor. I had only recently realized that when I turned to write something on the board, the students vanished – some momentarily, but others forever. I had wept about it until my eyes swelled shut. And though there was no wind, the puddles shivered.




Howie Good, a journalism professor at SUNY New Paltz, is the author of the new poetry collection, Dreaming in Red, from Right Hand Pointing. All proceeds from the sale of the book go to a crisis center, which you can read about here: https://sites.google.com/site/rhplanding/howie-good-dreaming-in-red. He is also the author of numerous chapbooks, including most recently The Devil’s Fuzzy Slippers from Flutter Press. He has two more chapbooks forthcoming, Personal Myths from Writing Knights Press and Fog Area from Dog on a Chain Press.


Art by Mel Blossom


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