Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Two poems by Brian Simoneau from Volume 34

From Too Much Dwelling on What Has Been



How many pigeons, blackbirds,

phoebes took flight when the eaves

caught fire and fell, the night sky

glowing red? One of the mills


was burning. Heavy air smoked

over the river, strands of

shadow drawn across the stars.

Did the birds peer through rising


pillars of ash? Could they see

flickering lights of untouched homes

below? Would we hear their songs

like sighs against the din of


sirens, or only whispers

of flames, the cold air rushing           

to reclaim its place? And how

many nights would pass before


they’d circle back, alighting

among the faded embers

as if they’d simply fallen

through rays of a setting sun?






For a moment there’s

                        metaphor in the collision


of insect and windshield,

                                    moths and mosquitoes


pressed to the grill

                        when I arrive after midnight


where I want to be, held

                                    in the embrace


of a lamppost’s light—

                                    a shared irrelevance,


such smallness useless

                                    in a universe spinning


away from itself,

                        each of us careening along


unable to see forest

                        or trees for the dark—


but the difference hits me

                                    square, aware of what’s coming


and the impossibility

                        of getting out of its path.

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