Chris Tusa

Rookie (01.01,72 / New Orleans, Louisiana)

Inventing an End Poem by Chris Tusa


for Leigh Mayeaux, whose body was never found.


Maybe he straddles you in the soft mud,
his eyes the brown shells of beetles,
your voice a yellow-jacket buzzing
in the sweaty throat of his palm.

Maybe sunlight trickles onto the ground
as the sharp black wings of crows ripple
in the curved steel of his switchblade,
or maybe he has a gun.

In my mind the end is always the same:
your pale body twisted in the muddy mouth of a bayou
where rusty lures flicker like flashbulbs
and the spotted scales of bass blink

through green lashes of eel grass.
I see you drifting through a cloud of cattails,
hair tangled with leaves, lips curled
around your final watery word.

Submitted: Saturday, June 11, 2005
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