Three Po­ems

Prairie Fire - - TABLE OF CONTENTS - BILL HOW­ELL

Fresh breezes luff the cedars over & above the tick­ing guck­i­ness: a beach re­plete with an­gry ernes, tacit terns, and hun­gry gulls. Each of us left hop­ing to cope with the pop­pling tide, al­most as if we have a choice: “If you’re not here, you don’t care.”

Hav­ing found the dis­tance want­ing, we know the way we’ve come, if not the any­way back. Not enough where to keep us there, any­way. Hav­ing opted not to dis­be­lieve, we re­make the world in front of a world left over. So be­fore we’ve even left, we’ve ar­rived where we al­ready are.

Be­com­ing our own ghosts, we don’t learn much as we grow older, but we sus­pect a lot. Wise enough to know far worse than this, we still get the chance to show our in­ex­pe­ri­ence. “Crazy peo­ple,” we like to say, “don’t know they’re crazy.” And the whole idea is to die as late as pos­si­ble.

Mean­while, over there, en­dear­ing be­yond de­sire, fear, or de­spair, sirens dec­o­rate the beck­on­ing rocks, wast­ing their lives wait­ing for way­ward sailors in­stead of of­fer­ing swim­ming lessons to kids. With dusk, their breasts will start to glow like lanterns wish­ing they were fire­flies.

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