Sixty Six

Yesterday the trees taste like smoke and ritual scarring.

Yesterday the earth is freshly tilled and foxes have never been called ‘urban’.

Yesterday the hunters climb hills that today have been leveled flat
burned into concrete portraits
and built into temples to careless gods
but the earth, I promise you, remembers what it has always been.

Sixty-Seven (The Door Closes) (Title Offered by Owen)


The frame shakes and clatters as you slam closed
the door that we spent so long cutting
into the brick walls we built when we were obsessed with being doctors
do you remember?

We’d seen so many of us drown in the creeks
where we had burned all our bridges
that we could no longer stand this prolonged siege warfare
so we took up mallets and chisels
and built a portcullis into the silence between us.
I had hopes higher than your rampart battlements in those early days
that we could one day figure out how to be at peace again
put away our weapons and drink toasts together
but now that hope seems foolishly idealistic.

We are only people after all,

and a door can always be closed and barred
and need never be opened.


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