by Joani Reese

On the Third Day
Hemingway would probably reconstruct
his ruined head like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle
then ease down the snow belted Ketchum road.

Kicking a can, he'd stroll into the next decade

dragging the severed rack of a ten point buck,

in search of another clean, well-lighted place.


Like a film strip run backward, Berryman's fingertips
might glance the dewed bank as he ascends feet first

to the Washington Avenue bridge. Mistress Bradstreet

would take his hand, lead him to the nearest podium,

his Pulitzer pressed under an arm, a new poem

scarifying patterns in his boozy brain.


Crane, velvet bathrobe billowing behind,
wavers on the prow, his tented hands lifted

to the Mexican sky. He steps back from the abyss,

inner eye envisioning the ink sip of a fountain pen,

the hard, hot brain frenzy that sends phrases marching

toward another bridge between oblivion and art.


Sexton could reduce her carbon footprint, wait
for a newer model, one in candy apple red with doll's eyes

winking from the radio dials while Plath entwines

with Otto in the back seat. The three could motor east,

race to beat the rising sun, anxious to be the first

to see the angel roll back the stone.