Blackbird an online journal of literature and the arts Fall 2007  Vol. 6 No. 2


Chris Abani
Victoria Chang
Michael Chitwood
Keith Ekiss
Gibson Fay-LeBlanc
Beth Ann Fennelly
Raza Ali Hasan
James Hoch
Cyan James
Julia Johnson
Larry Levis
Khaled Mattawa
Timothy O’Keefe
Catherine Pierce
Jon Pineda
John Poch
Austin Segrest
Louie Skipper
Ron Smith
Robert Thomas
Joshua Weiner
Lesley Wheeler
Charles Wright


Postmortem Examination on the Body of Clifford Baxter
     Clifford Baxter was a former Enron executive who committed suicide.

The body received in blue workout pants,
short-sleeved blue T-shirt, brief-style underwear.

Those unlucky clothes that might have
seen the moon in June.

But they contain a body,
                                       stiff as a canoe.


The head is deformed due to the bullet into
the right temporal area.

O to be born a bullet, mute for
most of its life,

One quick explosive motion
                                                and pieces stray away,
search for bodies to embed in,

to make things beyond recognition.


An abrasion on the left hand and base of second digit.
How the fingers can never again point—

            they are pointless,

permanent in disgrace, no longer able to insist,
to begin a list,

            to buttress a kiss.


Small shards of glass on a shirt,
but nothing nearby broken. 

The ring missing.

The body received without the hands
bagged.  Even the dead must be contained.

Earlier a starling sat on a fence,
said nothing.

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