Poetry – Luke Stromberg | Cassandra Voices

Poetry – Luke Stromberg


The First Obscenity

Before we turned our eyes from nudity,
Or banished certain words, death was the first
Obscenity—the one from which the rest,
In time, would find their way. The first
To make a joke of life. The first
To show us what may come of children’s games:
A skull left caked in mud, the slicing rain.
What is a rude word if not a reminder
Of the grave in which one’s coffin will be lowered?
An old man’s kiss upon a young girl’s navel
Would not be possible if not for death.

Dressed up in our Sunday best, our deaths
Seem almost hypothetical. They’re not.
Plastic surgeons, age-defying creams,
Air-brushed waistlines on the cover of Cosmo
These prove our distaste. Death’s in the ghetto.
But only look out past your green kept lawn,
And there it is, unfazed, a grinning fact.


About Author

Luke Stromberg's poems and prose have appeared in Smartish Pace, Golidad Review, The Hopkins Review, The New Criterion, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Raintown Review, The Dark Horse, and several other venues. He works as an adjunct English instructor at Eastern University and La Salle University and serves as the Associate Poetry Editor of E-Verse Radio.

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