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Billy ReynoldsListen


After Larkin

I saw through chain-link fence the curse of runway and distance.
I saw a guy on a forklift. I saw another guy watching him.

I saw the plane jerk skyward heavily into splendor.
Only then did I see it was a coffin

the airport guy was feeding into a hearse
like you’d feed an ice-stunned oak into the chipper.

Only then did I catch the look of passing things.


Late last night after I had gone

to bed I found myself at a party
up on the porch toasting
the rings of Saturn
when you showed up uninvited.

I don’t know why I finally
came down to where you stood
and placed a blue ribbon in your palm
unless it was to say you won.

I don’t know either why I took
your hand, or why we walked
through small backyards
that smelled of cut grass and lint.

All I know is that I wanted us
to stay close to the chain-link fence
until neither you nor I was
there to mark its abrupt death.


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