By Fred Dale

Good cause is the disguise

on the gift of your body.

Somewhere in this, though,

is your need to go on,

the dead man put back

to work. Know that

they will not have time

to listen to the story of your

body. Put the myth of this

on your tongue:

In the hands of students,

you will become flesh

unloved. You will lie to

them. But they will never

see the likes of you again.


Eventually, at some

unknowable time,

what’s left will be returned

to the lives of your sons.

When there are no more

secrets to be excised

and weighed, practiced

hands will let you go.

Your life will finally

be enough—

new memories to shake

into the soil breath

of your parents,

pinch by pinch, and one

heroic taste for the bayou.



Fred Dale lives in Jacksonville, Florida and is a Senior Instructor in the English Department at the University of North Florida. He is also Co-Instructor of Arts Inside, a program that teaches art and creative writing to jailed juveniles.

Comments are closed.