August 16


I saw a child struck by a car one day
in the face, a small plastic toy on the beach:
the child and the car.

Borders broke that day
and war persists
for little more than fictions, futures, old
neglects on the river shores where poems
once played between pink and blue stone,
laboring like fish in the mouths of alligators
or shielding their faces from sprays
of metal breaking from the clouds.

Where two people meet, two ghosts
with quarks in their pockets and sand
cutting their gums, albatross hushing
under the opal clouds. They dash
for shelter
at cliffs where rooks eye the mustard
smoke like nomads, their croaks
echoing high and long and wide as the sky.

We’ve all carved figures in cracked
bone, loosed hot red monsters into the beds
of little ones who wonder into what
dark room their parents have passed.
We should be that more often, that small
eruption of heart beat
in the eye when we learn
they’ll never come home,
knowing from then on what
the rook meant under the sky,
under the sea.

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