A Good Person Poem by Duane Locke

Duane Locke


Stalked by ancient voices,
Nostalgic for pink sheets in summer cabins.
He hid in the thorns and thickets of lottery tickets.
His face was licked by the tongue
Of a number that wore a black pants suit to Sunday school.
He lived as if a bullet in a coma,
Carried a flashlight through colonnades
So he could read the graffiti
Written by children on the columns.
He copied the words in a spiral bound notebook,
Used as lyrics when turning a Johann Sebastain Bach fugue
Into a popular song about nymphs
Drinking gin under green and black umbrellas.
He kept a skeleton in his closet,
Called the bones, “His wife.”
He put a blonde wig on the skull,
Combed it seven times a day.
He smeared vermilion over the place
On the bones that used to her lips.
One afternoon after an epiphany he changed
The names of the bones to Daughter.