Jeffrey Bean

You Are Going to Die

The ding and scratch of crickets
floats out of grass, keeps floating.

We think there is nothing amazing,
we sniff our mail, cry into our hands.

Then at night we point our eyes at trees
the size of dinosaurs and gobs

of fire above them in space. You,
reading this, your arm bone

in its sheath of skin is leaving you.
It will go whether you remember

to think of water and pebbles
or hum songs while you walk.

You drink bits of yourself in teacups
then crawl into bedsheets. Your body

makes ripples in that cloth: a map,
a landscape, the shallow valleys of your sleep.


Jeffrey Bean is currently Professor of English/Creative Writing at Central Michigan University. His poems have appeared in the journals The Southern Review, Antioch Review, Missouri Review, FIELD, Willow Springs, Subtropics and, among others. He is author of two chapbooks and the poetry collections Diminished Fifth and Woman Putting on Pearls, which won the 2016 Red Mountain Prize for Poetry and was published by Red Mountain Press in 2017.