A Trunkful of Faces
In an abandoned house we find
a trunkful of faces peeled
from corpses and packed in dry ice.
Did someone hope to dry them
into ghastly Halloween masks?
Or did some warped scientist plan
to explore some racist theory?
The dusty old house grumbles
as window-holes snag the breeze.
Should we call the police despite
our trespass? Some of the faces
look familiar. Einstein, Franklin
Roosevelt, Charlie Chaplin,
Greta Garbo, Madame Curie.
This imaginary resemblance
troubles us, but these faces
probably belong to the family
that lived so long in this house
no one survived to inherit.
You’re disgusted by this flesh,
each angry or sullen expression
tough as suede and so rumpled
it could never be refitted
to the skull from which it was torn.
I think we should close the trunk
and forget we ever sickened
ourselves on such trivia.
Look at the brazen light pouring
from the view of mountains budding
with unaccountable tree-life.
A wonder such vegetable thoughts
don’t re-empower these faces
and remind them how to smile.