We walk in circles around houses with broken windows;
glass clinging to old rotten wood and heat crawling inside searching for life to drain.
Plasters peeling off of pulp and
years peeling off of childhood homes that don’t mean much without the child.
Some kid’s sneaker growing out of a dead vegetable garden crying out that they’ve moved on as its laces become roots.
Baked clay, burned under a giant yellow balloon ready to burst.
Its a runaway from the sticky hand of someone’s little brother
who cried because not even his elastic five minute best friend wanted him.
We can feel the sidewalk melting beneath our feet.
And you, old women with feathered eyes
fluttering like a young bird about to be pushed out of the nest
unable to capture the wind underneath you,
fell into dirt and yellowed aching grass.
Watched the world race past you,
moving up to skies you never touched or tasted or loved.
But you knew you could have if only you had one more day-
one more night of dreaming,
one last lick of sweet possibility.
One more day and you would have flown.
Taken your aching eyes and hollow limbs and learnt to dance away the sagging years;
captured the lightness of your spine and the wing of your shoulder blade.
Over in the corner is a small girl counting up bricks bigger than her hands,
dropping them in the pouch of her checkered skirt
and humming to the sun.
She’s tottering around blown down buildings and scrapping up rubble into her pockets.
Says she’s gonna make mamma a house
of pretty brick and flush flowers that climb into the windows and leak light.
Says her baby brother’s never gonna see clouds and collect up pale seeds.
She blows on a retired dandelion and it blows up like a bomb;
it’s shrapnel twirling in her face like ash caught up in wind.
She laughs, delighted, and tells momma to see the limping stem and fluffy falling debris.
Momma looks up with eyes older than her bones and tells her
it’s just a weed.
On Sunday, August 7th, the sun didn’t rise.
All the people on Alice’s street rose with their alarm clocks. They woke without the glint of sunlight peering through their curtains and the panic of their neighbors as they looked outside. The stars were gone and the moon had long slipped away. They stood on their tiny porches outside of their lit up houses and looked up at the dark sky. The stars may have been farther than any of them could have imagined but they had seemed so close. Now they all saw the distance. For a silent second they all stared out into the expanse of empty space and felt small.
A scream broke through down the block. Poor Mrs. Hanover gripped at her pig patterned night gown and sobbed. Edward Pilpart’s night cap was flung off of his head as he fell to his knees and prayed. Lila Carn stood frozen in front of her doorway and didn’t notice her husband try to drag her back into the house. Mr. Gale made strangled nonsense noises and gaped at the sky in his bright red underwear. It was almost nine o’clock in the morning and artificial light seeped out of their homes and faded into the strange night.
Some families grabbed their children and crowded around their televisions, desperate for answers. Others turned to their spouses and tried to offer reasonable explanations.
”Must be an eclipse. I think I heard something on the news last night-“
”It’s those NASA people. They’re not far from here, you know? Could be some satellite or something-“
Others clung to their religious texts and chanted comforts to themselves. Families loaded up their cars with clothes and pets and drove off.
Alice calmly eyed her neighbors from the swing on her porch and continued with her knitting. Every few minutes she’d lick her wrinkled thumb and expertly flick the page of the magazine that rested on her lap. She stayed on her swing until the sun should have been hanging directly over head and all of her neighbors had driven away or hidden in their houses.
She swung herself for a few moments more and finished the last row on her blanket. In the light of her living room that pooled out through lacy curtains, she collected up her needles and yarn. She shuffled inside and flicked off her lights.
The night is long and lonely in its dust.
Hours crawl by achingly slow on their bloodied bellies,
dying of lost time and stab happy seconds;
Clock hand swords dripping red at their tips.
Golden hours spin circles till they’re rust,
giving over to metallic disease,
fading into carved and weary legends.
Only half told whispers dancing through permanent eclipse.
Daylight breaks and burns. Eyes are thrust
open in the bright rays of enflamed deities.
The ticking stops, caught in yellow shackles. A thousand
hands reach out feebly to grasp at the glowing ellipse.
bouncing off of tongues
leaping from branches and twirling in sky,
Simple syllables laced with laughter
from bright summer afternoons
old trees and the pages of books.
of song bursting from lips.
circling skies of fading blues and reds. We’re
dreams draped on clouds and
soft fires in the gossamer mist that skates between stars.
whisper in our hair and drag us to sunsets and
your hunched shoulders,
lost in passing years.
nestled in the joints of hands
whose skin hangs off bone like silk.
Milky eyes staring off
at stars that still glow
in the same slice
of dark sky.
Sorry for the Haiku spam. They are so fun to write!
Hey, Summer, you here?
I want yellow and bright sleep
Tired of wet green
a framed picture that
keeps changing with the seasons
a breeze dances in