The woman is perfected
Body wears the smile of accomplishment,
The illusion of a Greek necessity
Flows in the scrolls of her toga,
Feet seem to be saying:
We have come so far, it is over.
Each dead child coiled, a white serpent,
One at each little
Pitcher of milk, now empty
She has folded
Them back into her body as petals
Of a rose close when the garden
Stiffens and odors bleed
From the sweet, deep throats of the night flower.
The moon has nothing to be sad about,
Staring from her hood of bone.
She is used to this sort of thing.
Her blacks crackle and drag.
Parish-resident Philip A. Contos was riding his 1983 Harley Davidson along Route 11 in Onondaga, New York, with members of American Bikers Aimed Towards Education, “a safety, educational, charitable and advocacy motorcyclist organization” that opposes “laws mandating use of helmets at all times by all riders.”
The attending physician who examined Contos’s body told troopers that the 55-year-old would have survived the crash were he wearing a Department of Transportation-approved helmet.