TWO DEATHS

I

 

a better story

Frank O’Hara dying

hit by a dune buggy

as he lay in the sand

on that beat on Fire Island

nude and lubed

so much explained

love declared but unexplored

24 July 1966

 

the prose truth   bleak

like your Long Island funeral

run down by a Jeep

driven by Mr Ruzicka

late at night

as you stood   by yourself

in the darkness    next

to the stranded vehicle with a thrown tyre

on that beach

shattered legs and ruptured liver

no charges laid

 

II

 

the poetry of his death

James Dean

imagined    like the end of that scene in

Rebel without a Cause

who stops before the cliff is chicken

his end foretold

in the movie    then unreleased

the beauty of everything he did

30 September 1955

 

in truth your Porsche Spyder

slammed at speed

into the turning Ford Tudor

driven by Mr Turnupseed

 

no elegance

your remains

locked in the wreck

 

no charges laid

 

with your beauty it was

no wonder Frank loved you

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