I hope heaven is like Mexico in the fifties,

right down to all the petty bribes.

When my first love died,

all year my hands smelled of gasoline.

Each day’s new pall of snow

burned back to swarming blacktop gray.

Grief, I determined, is most constructive

when you channel it through scorn.

When my second love died I started painting birds.

After fifteen years of studies my hands flitted like two wings.

I’ve flown this state so many times

and found nothing lustrous here.

Nothing but grief in circulation.

No matter what, don’t bury me in Michigan.

Charlie Clark