WORLD TRADE TWO
I will show you fear in a handful of dust.
First, it was the small things: Piled kicked-
off shoes in the street. A crusted thumb perched
curbside like a coin dropped on edge.
Racked portraits on poles, mimicking
saints day processions. The birds
fell off the roof, the children said,
the birds were on fire.
Always it’s the small things: A flight
of paper bellied on giants’ breaths,
flapping like bleached crows --
certificates of deposit paid in
dust. Ash trees turned ash.
Rasped breaths as of shears that
scissored the air.
Ever, it’s the small things: dull thuds like
orchards lashed by gusts; a gingham doll
sprawled smiling, stiff with grime;
a stench that closed down nostrils and
clamped minds: after -- after the avalanche, its
boiling ten-league leaps, roar
muffling as earth.
Please let it be small things,
the shadows not the source.
For they are our sidelong glance
that sees by not seeing:
our chimneys, our moldering camps,
our warehouses of plaited hair
The Federal Poet, Vol. LXXII No.1 (Spring 2014)