On Visiting Harding’s Temporary Tomb


Crypts of dead president’s smell like

musty mornings in a book loft; my

reaction to his death never mattered;

a martyr, a murderer, no difference;

but, there, with her, I stood alight in

the daring past, gulping the air like

a fish returned to water, trying, in a

way, to find a ghost; a scheme I sell

and don’t buy; but I would’ve let it,

that day, in that way, appear for one

moment, to shake me awake, rile and

rival me, indentured to it’s gaze, it’s

wake: an ocean disturbed, madness

succumbed, a dark, transient wonder,

lapsed in the carpet of time, sealed

inside a memorial, cinder and earthen,

a shadow of water washed walls, more

than one man enters, but nothing to

want more, even if I bet and pleaded

to the sky almighty, simply a collection

of garden tools, and grave flags impure;

I still took a picture, even if to dream.


In my home town of Marion, OH. I went in when they accidentally left the gate unlocked.


~ by Shawn M. Young on November 23, 2016.

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