The Rebirth of Pleasure

Decorate this tomb
with holly and flowers.
Brighten the gloom
with restless hours.

Let life refill the mortuary
and put smiles on faces.
Drop the burden and carry
all the last traces

of love.

Reflections from the Death Bus

The highway stews with bayou light.
French-speaking alligators and Spanish moss
accent the other side of the catafalque.

The mobile mausoleum is stale
with loneliness and regret.
These souls will not be missed.

After the death bus crashes
and the ghost of Iry LeJeune,
some wayward Acadian will sing

a waltz—la comédie humaine.

Soft Rains

Come soft rains, gently onto the tiles.
Rap and tap and color the cobblestones
in this river town.

Beneath a blackened sky, raise the water
and wash the streets
free from inchoate sin.

Let the electric sky crack open
to shower the hours
trapped away inside.
May the smell of ammonia
put to sleep this worry
and cradle the burden in my head.

Twist Ending

There ought to be a twist ending
before the September sun sinks
into October.

The summer should not quietly die
like the postman or lonely housewife.

It ought to conjure one last trick—
a slight of hand
or misdirection.

The summer should not fall
like water spilling from a table.

It ought to lie to us—
kiss us with one last warmth
and promises of brighter days.

The summer should not extinguish
but blaze on until Samhain.

The Swim

Swim is on tonight
out past the lighthouse.
How long can you hold your breath?
I can last forever
with the fish and their bones.

I don’t really want to come back,
at the lighthouse
turn back
and forget about me.


“The Rebirth of Pleasure” and “The Swim” are excerpts from Benjamin Welton’s new poetry chapbook, PANIC. You can purchase the book from Terror House Press here.