Pain. a flat name. a hip-flask, again
aching to be sipped. a man
sitting in the corner with a hat over his eyes.
a knife thrown in the dark, at the sun.
a battle won and lost, dead strewn all over.
plague wagons laden heavy. done—
a rose thrown onto a closed coffin-lid. at dawn,
rain patters down like tears. footsteps walking away.
glimmers through the clouds. life peeking through the hole in her eye.
smoke drifting through the cracks in leafless trees. fog moving on the cold.
dogs sniffing at the scraps. maybe they’ll wag their tail, if I bend down to pet them.
maybe they’ll bite me. I retreat, but I’ll be back.
I know it’s worth getting scared about. I know
there’s something special in the weed poking its head above the debris.
I know so much. Let me tell you about the Rabbit in the Moon,
who jumped into the fire, offered all his downy smallness, overjoyed
that he could ease the pain in a stranger’s belly.
his halo now caressed in a puddle
I almost drowned in.