Individual Voices / Natural Forms

Winter, 2006

Brendan Constantine

No Guessing

I keep reading how destiny laughs at chance, how the man who said so
was ahead of his time, but he was seventy when he died, had a beard
like a white Persian cat devouring his considerable face. I bet he
didn't go willingly.
I bet he didn't say "Honey, would you hold my pen, it's my
to die."  I bet someone had to pry the bedsheets from his hands. And
they wrote him into the ground, his beard went on growing, grew until
had arms and legs, a tail and teeth. I bet it prowls the cemetery
still, a huge and muscled
snow leopard, the old man's skeleton still caught in its
There's no telling if you'd ever see it and if you did, no guessing if
it might
tear you apart like a bedroom. Destiny can laugh all it wants about
but chance is on the floor about destiny. It's knocked over the table
with the candles and the goldfish. The carpet is ruined, the party is ruined,
the night is ruined,
it can never be cleaned,