The Beginning of Ritual, and: The Voyeur

The Beginning of Ritual, and: The Voyeur THE BEGINNING OF RITUAL / Jon Veinberg The fruit baskets remain untouched And the corridor is swelled with hats. Someone is tuning the radio While the coffin skulks in the corner Under the whirl of the electric fan. Roll out the Luckies on the nightstand, Uncle Lawrence, It is no longer forbidden to smoke. The pastries are cellophaned. The creditors are frowning. The mantel is polished and the drapes are aired For the wide-eyed and pale busybody Whose hands are well trained in sadness. The priest snaps Polaroids of the family Rimming the cherrywood casket and they are smiling Because this is the beginning of their ritual: After soothing the powdered and tubercular face, In their rented shoes, shiny as ants Straightening the bargain of a red tie And pointing the toes of their dead starward They watch their bodies in the photo Raveling out of the thin gases of paper Into the green forms of any April And they are now laughing through the whitest of fogs As if they were breathing time, Happy as fools and unafraid. 56 ' The Missouri Review THE VOYEUR / Jon Veinberg I'm the laughter that'll flatten you. I'm the creak http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Missouri Review University of Missouri

The Beginning of Ritual, and: The Voyeur

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Abstract

THE BEGINNING OF RITUAL / Jon Veinberg The fruit baskets remain untouched And the corridor is swelled with hats. Someone is tuning the radio While the coffin skulks in the corner Under the whirl of the electric fan. Roll out the Luckies on the nightstand, Uncle Lawrence, It is no longer forbidden to smoke. The pastries are cellophaned. The creditors are frowning. The mantel is polished and the drapes are aired For the wide-eyed and pale busybody Whose hands are well trained in sadness. The priest snaps Polaroids of the family Rimming the cherrywood casket and they are smiling Because this is the beginning of their ritual: After soothing the powdered and tubercular face, In their rented shoes, shiny as ants Straightening the bargain of a red tie And pointing the toes of their dead starward They watch their bodies in the photo Raveling out of the thin gases of paper Into the green forms of any April And they are now laughing through the whitest of fogs As if they were breathing time, Happy as fools and unafraid. 56 ' The Missouri Review THE VOYEUR / Jon Veinberg I'm the laughter that'll flatten you. I'm the creak

Journal

The Missouri ReviewUniversity of Missouri

Published: Oct 5, 1989

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