Thursday, August 04, 2016

december landscape, upstate, after the fire

keeps his most sunlit words in a secret box but
right now this dull business of driving home through
grim november twilight, this ocean of blurred headlights,
these glimpses of bodies left bleeding on icy sidewalks,
in trash-filled gutters

wolves shot at the edges of barren fields because
you have to keep the animals separate from humanity

you need to waste your days debating
the rights of rapists

need to let the politicians decide how best to
protect the wealthy from the poor and, later, he wakes up
standing naked in his back yard,
laughing through a mouthful of broken glass and
he can’t find his wife and he doesn’t
remember her name

can’t shake this recurring dream about the
first woman he ever loved

how he watches her fall off the edge of the world

hears the door to his future shut
softly but without any doubt
and the walls are blue and the stars have no
meaning beyond themselves

forecast of five below zero and he wades
slowly into the water

understands that christ’s wounds have no more
importance than anyone else’s but
isn’t sure how to turn this knowledge into a painting

has no explanation for the
man dying in the bed at the far end of the hall

can’t even hear his own breathing over the
steady grind of these rusted and useless machines

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