Your sister wouldn’t even shake its hand.

Behind the felled sycamore, your mother

shook sand from a plaid scarf. Tintype sky,

late August, late afternoon, and the wind

come and gone. Just like that. No loss.

But look: two houses down the gravel beach

the neighbors’ Jacobins up and flown away,

strewn pigeon feathers, mangled wire mesh.




You knew enough to slip from this town

out and into love, motels, and unlocked

synagogues. Kiss its throat as the water

quickens, studded with sleek platinum

lights on the opposite shore. It knows

a little bit – this next pneumatic whistle

is the third shift, vague anger blown awake

again, somehow machines are making things.



Originally published in Green Mountains Review