Such Dreams Were Too Grand

He says to me “Carry on.” as I duck under a waving arm
dressed in navy blues, try not to let my eyes wander to the left
were a man is dead, his arms a pointillistic work of sullen tragedy –
obsession – I can’t help but look – his head is dipped into
his shoulder, thinner than an eight year old boy, pale as a snow
hare, eyes reddened and glazed over like doughnuts with wild
desperation, into my chest, I whisper a small prayer, though I
don’t believe in God or heaven, or even the words I trembly lift
out of my mouth, the socket of air over my lips now filling with
Let him be at rest, and I hope he didn’t suffer much; my foot
steps on an orange needle in the sward I cut through to get home.

It’s angry how much I want to have the roots rise up, crunch it in,
and a girl hurries up to me and asks if that man over there
was shot; a cool cucumber as always I take her eyes in mine
secure and clearly state, “Yes.” She looks like she wants to
say something, like an apology, as if asking was too big a mark
to let hang above this scene, her hair stringy and fingernails
chewed to their nubs, a woven itch under all her body, she
is thinking as a bee hive thinks, three jobs and hundreds of
buzzing minds pulling on each her lobes, her stare into a lion’s
den is loud, a mechanical groan booming though she is silent,
unrelenting in her stillness – I know, that no mother could pick
her chilling soul off the ribboned path that tumbled into her veins,
a Yukon current swelling her home from foundations, lashing
her upon the tides of a country that puked out poison from
negligence, shame, and a cacophony of bodies peddling mad.  

I have no comfort to give her, but to tell her to take care of herself.
We are all alone in this neighborhood of wounds, piles of
trash we were laid on during dark times, cowards who crawled
from the fray and dumped their loads so they could get away,
go back to their houses they’ll never be big enough to fill, charting
the dangerous roads – they’ll avoid this moment – of a man
small enough to be a boy dead in a park, his life riddled in holes
and daring dreams he cradled, fearful to tell anyone and be told
such dreams were too grand for a heart lodged in peril and need;
it’s a sad day, a frightening passage to my door, briefly crippled
by this land humming in ideas – I want nothing else but nightfall.    

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