Blink Twice to Mean Yes

It’s not language nor the attempt

at a joke: it’s lack of understanding

that dooms the animal crossing the road.

Still, the same oblivion awaits it

inside the slaughterhouse. Therefore

claims should not just be made

within reason, but more with respect

to circumstance. Like the assault

of a bird’s presence on your hand.

History is replete enough with

experts in numbers and trivia.

We forget the horror of another body

on the street. Or why we’re rifling

through money from China.

Nothing is after the fact, said

the ribbon from a gift being unraveled,

by the torn cocoon. The moment cannot

wait any longer than it should.

Blink and you’d forget the color

from a dream. Or miss the ant

crawling up the wall, its tiny body

an amber against the sunbeam.



Figures in the Static

We’ve all lost something, I tell

the blind. No purity exists

which we cannot claim erroneous. ­­

Within the sky is another, the fire

keeps smoldering, and echoes

flourish beyond our hearing.


Yet the gaping hole that must

be filled in, because it’s unpleasant.

Instructions: plug a finger into the wound,

ready the newspaper. Outline the fallen

with chalk and walk with the others

to the cemetery. Be obedient.


Or wail with those left behind.

Grass grows past bullet shells

and it will take years before the child

truly learns how to count. It’s not

lightning but the quiet we cannot

bear, before thunder. Meanwhile,


the earth keeps sliding. Once,

we had but one body: of

water, land, root. Antlers

sprouted from a single beast.

Then light stuttered unto the one dark,

which is the first ambush.




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