The center of town and absolute
stillness. The shadows of birds carved
into a luminous sky, and the shadows
of powerlines, and the trees all shimmering
where they touch the air.
And not sorrow, but the weight of it, the
memory, and every shuttered window on
every silent building. The idea that I used
to be a different person, possibly a better one,
and then the reality of where I am now. The
moment I knew I’d lost you, or maybe nothing
so simple. Maybe days, months, years of
Maybe an empty room in a different town.
Maybe a trailer at the edge of an autumn field.
I was there with your sister,
and she promised she wouldn’t tell.
Said the same thing the second time, and
the third, and then she got married.
Then she found God.
Told me what it felt like while she
got dressed after our last time.
The avenues, all lined w/ trees
Approaching midnight, heat of the day still everywhere, still
stuck to everything, caught in the trees, filling these rooms,
objects pushed aside, broken, music drowned out. This is the
moment. This is the here, the now, and it really doesn’t
matter how many soldiers will die in the war. It really doesn’t
matter what war it is we’re talking about, or how many
civilians will be raped, beheaded, lined up along bloodstained
walls and machine-gunned down. The wheels are in motion.
The men you’ve elected have their orders. You will die old and
alone. Without ceremony, but this is moving too far ahead.
Quarter after midnight, rumble of thunder, distant lightning,
still no rain. Mortgage due, phone bill due, numbers never
adding up in the checkbook the way they should. Hands of
Christ caught in the whirling blades. No need for Judas. No
need for the cross. The rest of your life will be punishment enough
for whatever it is you’re guilty of. No one ever really believes in
hope until it’s too late to matter.