Robert Campbell

Zombie Dialectic

1. Thesis

Having eaten the city of Louisville,
and after losing many limbs, we marched.
We grew restless in our marching—
those of us without legs, or with one,
clenched another’s shoulder as we spread
upon the bluegrass, our bloody mass
moaning with fatigue. My index finger
fell by the interstate. A fellow traveler
bent to devour it as a white minivan
bolted by us, barely missing me, terror
widening the faces of its passengers,
though we never hated, not one, not once.

2. Antithesis

The cornfields by I-65 swelled
with wind. Our mouths festered,
singing unrequited I love you’s.
Their bodies sang back, warm
as if in sleep, working to be alive.
We had joined that green majority
out of hunger. We rode thoroughbreds
with missing eyes and meat, one great
stampeding family of children.

3. Synthesis

Having nothing left to eat, our bellies
vast as the yawning hollows, we turned
to one another for small trades, sparing
what we could to ease the pain: an ear, a nose.
We could never digest what we swallowed,
but grew, and grew famished, nothing
outside what we became—motherless
apparatus, each recombinant to each.
Our bite was suckling now; we had
no teeth. The horses fled, wild and blind,
rushing into the mouth of the sea.