Daily Archives: April 18, 2010

Afternoon

Smoke,
a lullaby
in the air,

curls around
the covers
of the Duino Elegies.

Feet up, coffee at hand,
the angelic explanations
laid before me

and a good cigar —
no,
a great cigar burning.

Thus, clarity
carries on.
Always.

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The Accusation That Wakes You Before Dawn

Animals
struck by cars
come back to life
once you’ve passed their corpses.
One in seven million of them
is given the power of speech.

The accusation
that wakes you before dawn
comes from one of them. 
In the voice is a paw ticking off every time
you heard a thump below your wheels
and drove on with a shrug.

Under the heavy-armed trees
outside your window
is an army of the flattened,
the torn, the spilled and bloody.
You stand inside, half naked,
reliving moments
of rejection,
ignorance, and neglect
you’ve experienced.

The fur that suddenly emerges
from your chest and back
is sodden with blackened blood
and the tiny cells of brain and lung.

In the car that’s rushing toward you
are your father, your mother,
every easily forgotten lover,
every friend you don’t call anymore,
every colleague you’ve blindsided,
every server you’ve stiffed,
every aimless stab in every back
and every turn of the wheel
that took you over a body in the road.

Headlights ahead,
then it happens.
You in the blanket of silence.
You waiting for
a one in seven million chance
to give back.

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My Loyal Dog

My loyal dog,
the night, has no tail
to wag in welcome
when I approach.

You are laughing at me,
I can tell.  You say
the night’s not my dog
at all.  That dog belongs

to no one and you chide me
for presuming such a thing.
But you’re so wrong.  I’ve kept him
on a leash so long

he appears to be free,
but he’s my dog all right —
waits for me all day
until I come home and feed him.

Though there’s no tail on him,
I can tell my dog loves me.
How else to explain why I am licked
by darkness so often?

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