He was a man who liked to appear in public with a red face
and drooping black moustache. The Milky Way shot (and
slashed) and then burned their love letters. Some words
shivered. Others moaned. No possible sky seemed big enough
to hold so much darkness.
What looked like an accident was really the mind-body
split. On the grand stairway you recognized a pickpocket
but pretended not to. The next day we read about stolen
bombs in the newspaper. A silk top hat filled with rabbits
was the only clue.
Police followed the trail of a strange liquid to her real
last name. The radio was on, though no one was home. They
fell asleep listening to champagne music.
A band of horses, invisible to the naked eye, goes round
and round, like diseased thoughts. The weeping audience
persists in applauding. Farm boys would pay a dollar for
an autographed photo of the animal tamer’s beautiful
blonde assistant. But first Michael the Great, the
bicycling monkey, must finish doing her. The tent sways
from side to side. Someone no one knows is attempting to
affix angels to the ceiling.
She’s afraid she’s being followed. You yourself frequently
look back over your shoulder. There’s nothing there –
brown trees, some shredded clouds. From now on, you’re
going to define love loosely. A bird whistles like a
bullet from a high-powered rifle.
Bird tracks cover the sky. My rifle jams at a critical
moment. The last free Indians on the Plains nibble the
grass. One of them, when I look again, is crunching bones.
The women pee standing up, the men sitting down.
Strong winds visit in the evening. Just the same as
yesterday, time insults the brain. The dying light renders
faces conveniently indistinct. I hide behind a bush.
Everyone who has a lucky number has forgotten what it is.
Hats sail down the street. After dark, the piano player
plays on only the black keys.
Rumors the size
of small dogs spread
across the city.
Unwanted babies disappear
A man that witnesses
described as foreign-
till noon the next day.
Dry white crumbs on the table.
A story without a story.
Photo by: Jennifer L. Tomaloff
Howie Good is the author of the full-length poetry collections Lovesick (Press Americana, 2009), Heart With a Dirty Windshield (BeWrite Books, 2010), and Everything Reminds Me of Me (Desperanto, 2011).