Rebecca Lu Kiernan The 2River View, 5.4 (Summer 2001)


You are often 60 seconds, seven words
From ever meeting them at all, having
Turned twice to leave the party, driving
Out of your way to observe a lightning
Struck willow where everything
Would change, something calling you
To watch the gray rain,
Squint at a stained glass window,
Stand long in the impossible silence
Of a swirling street corner,
Dizziness / longing / recognition?
They're always coming at you
With their Norman Rockwellish grins
Translating your map, pointing you to
Home style diners and souvenir shops
Full of stuff you can't get anywhere,
Book stores for your out of print tendencies,
Calming you in their sleepy vampire towns,
Touching your arm to raise a vein.
But you're the one in hot pursuit
Brushing sleeves with them,
Meeting their pale eyes unblinkingly,
Xed out people in your address book,
Sullen photograph of a long suicided love
In your wallet, pulling over to watch
Their mesmeric kaleidoscope leaves,
Steely cobalt lakes and cotton candy pink skies,
Begging to be mercifully

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