Cotton

Stephen Gibson Click to read more...

sgibsonStephen Gibson is the author of several poetry collections: The Garden of Earthly Delights Book of Ghazals (Texas Review Press), Rorschach Art Too (2014 Donald Justice Prize, West Chester University),  Paradise (University of Arkansas Press, 2011), Frescoes (Lost Horse Press book prize, 2009), Masaccio’s Expulsion (MARGIE/Intuit House book prize, 2006), and Rorschach Art (Red Hen, 2001).   His most recent is Self-Portrait in a Door-Length Mirror (University of Arkansas Press, 2017).

I’m at Cotton Mather’s tomb in Boston—
it’s part of the burial ground on Copp’s Hill:
there’re more Death’s Heads here than men or women.

The woman with the stroller waits for her husband,
moving from headstone to headstone, to have his fill;
I’m at Cotton Mather’s tomb. At Boston

Harbor, my wife and I had lunch, walked Charlestown
Bridge (a woman sold water, dollar a bottle)—
there’re more Death’s Heads here than men or women.

I don’t know him, except that he believed in sin,
hoped they weren’t wrong at the Salem witch trials—
I’m at Cotton Mather’s tomb in Boston.

I’m wearing my black Ralph Lauren 100% cotton
polo made in Vietnam (half price in Marshall’s):
there’re more Death’s Heads here than men or women.

I’m thinking of Eco’s Inventing the Enemy—one
essay in particular, which gives the book its title—
I’m at Cotton Mather’s tomb in Boston.
There’re more Death’s Heads here than men or women.

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