Where Len Lies

By Benjamin Heins

I've checked all the graves from Hellertown to New York,
and not one of them is yours. I no longer believe
things written in stone.

You're probably mixing Snapple Apple
and tequila, nestled in a hammock east of Costa Rica,
waiting for the construction crew to lay the last linoleum tile;

working on your breath capacity every day
(twenty-five feet isn't too far under).
But that damned black book —

the one people say was your last —
was the one you said to me the publisher would release after
Hell froze over.

And Hell did; I feel colder this year
in Pennsylvania than I ever have.
And maybe you're cold, too,

clutching an afghan in the late-night island breeze,
re-reading your "final" manuscript,
laughing hysterically.

Come back to me, you glorious, beautiful sonofabitch! —
send that cold Cohoes wind through my coat and skin,
and freeze, crack the marrow in my bones.