T. C. Marshall
"We're all dead already," she said,

like that was a truth we moved

thru time to realize. The image

I got was skeletons dancing;

can that be our life? --the hidden truth

of those Mexican figures

in painted clay or paper-maché:

skeleton musicians, skeleton cabbies,

skeleton doctors, skeleton hair-

dressers even. All made ghosts

by the presence of death in life

showing thru the daily fabric. Then,

a sudden laughing life-sized figure

danced before my eyes with green

fruiting cactus and bright flowers and birds

rising from between its fleshless bones.

Graced with colorful vitality, it

haunts me with the fact that

other lives may live my death in the act of

being variously born.

Triumph rises in the living life

that knows itself already sacrificed.