Dusk

Dusk. As if someone had placed a paper bag
over the sinking sun’s head. Deserted streets.

On the corner, a small diner with one man
inside, sitting in a both, a glass of ice water
near his right hand.

Snow begins to fall. The man in the diner
stares out the window, his face, a bulb
without a lampshade.

Down the street, a barrel full of fire.
Three figures huddled around it.
No one speaks.

The man in the diner puts a dollar bill
on the table and leaves. The empty diner
shines like someone about to go to sleep.

The houses are all dark. One of them
is mine.

close to no
flat and fatherless
there is

 

Keith Polette

Dusk

On the Road

The blackberries are blighted, but we managed
to make jam from them anyway. Even though
our teeth have been vandalized by age,
and our socks have lost their twins,
we walk into a world stubborn as a mirror,
where the low sky scrapes our backs.

We hold the road like a clarinet, our blackened
tongues searching for the reed, the only music
the treefall behind us. Our faces etched
and angled like keys, we are searching for
some mystery to unlock, knowing that
when we do, one of us will vanish, one
of us will stay.

wolves in the walnut tree
doubt
wild vista inside

Keith Polette

On the Road

The Wagon

The desert skies were clear,
except for the apostrophe of cloud
that hung over the mountains.  In the village,
a boy took possession of the day
and hauled it in a red wagon,
until he was called home for dinner.
The sun waited all evening
and well into night.

 

red-eyed dog
nose
the world

Keith Polette

The Wagon

Silhouette 

torn pages…
the sound of her voice
breaking apart

He tells me not to scream, not to shout, not to complaint of pain, not to tell him to stop. No, I am not supposed to fight back.
I must obey him, after all he wants to love me.

They tell me to shut my mouth, not to say a word about him to anyone. I cannot reveal this secret, it might ruin family’s reputation.
I must obey them because they love me.

She tells me to obey them and not argue. They are my elders. Little girls should behave properly.
I learn from her daily, she is my mother.

Bunny Bear doesn’t tell me anything. He just sits, gives me a beautiful smile and listens to me.
I am glad, Bunny Bear doesn’t love me, so I love him.

iron bars
who placed them
at the window?

Shreya Narang

Silhouette