Jason B. Crawford

Ode to the Soil

Oh, what we do to our dead, give them
but the peace we wish to rest them in.
Hold their memories like a bad cold we can’t
Or a good night we never wanted to
We gift their names to our children 
and bind them to their legacy,
watch them drag behind it in disappointment 
Plant flowers in you in hope that they’ll grow
But you, you greet every body like a new
You’ll hold their bones no matter who they
birthed or killed
Your stomach will digest everything equally, 
bowels churning marrow down to oil to sell
back to us in exchange for a new skin to feed

All this to say, I am jealous of your lack of
Maybe you lost someone once yourself
Maybe like a mountain and all you could do
was fill your body until it pushed out all of
that sad,
and the only thing left in you was the need to
feed on everything dead

Jason B. Crawford is black, bi-poly-queer, and a damn force of nature. In addition to being published in online literary magazines, such as High Shelf Press, BeLightFilled, Poached Hare, Royal Rose, and Kissing Dynamite, he is the Chief Editor for The Knight’s Library. Jason is also the recurring host poet for Ann Arbor Pride. Forthcoming works will be in The Amistad and Augur.