The word deceives me.
At first soothed and
hissy until it reaches that
t – smacking against the ceiling of your mouth like the punch
of the ferret kid in the boxing ring
in and out, fierce and quick, hook with a snap then
The next sound,
that terse e – does little to
Soothe it. But anyway the damage is already done. Whatever trust
There was between us has
tered like a bajillion sheets of skyscraper glass
under the shockwaves of the far-off bomb.
Because how can I trust
something that first is smooth and then
first here and then
Such a thing deceives me.
How do I know cities
When all that’s left are jagged bricks and twisted steel,
Covering the sidewalks like a carpet
God tacked to the ground?
The farther I walk,
The softer the carpet
Becomes, bits of plaster
And scraps of plastic giving rise
Always here at city hall
I am at night,
And it’s cold
and the moon’s pale
light shining dully behind layers of clouds illuminates
a plain of dust
But I like it this way,
Because this way
It is better
Such a thing
Cannot deceive me.
I see you here
Here at night—
As I imagine that these formless mounds
Of ash are hummocks of dirt and peat,
Wet and soft,
Humming hushed until spring comes
to impregnate them.
Often there is no wind.
And if there were the dust
Would by now be scrubbed away like grime
Under a sponge, and then only the graying dirt
Would remain. And in the distance—
splintered wood and moldered homes.
(I lied.) It does deceive me.
At least at night,
So that I don’t have to pretend
that the shaded horizon holds something better
Than miles and miles of debris.
Right now only what I can see is wrong,
and everything else
is good, and I can escape if I
feel like it, if I just
pick a direction and