The Return

inspired by Clinton’s post earlier this morning.
after Andrei Platonov.

On the morning he comes home
Regret folds through her body like hips
Undulating under a slave driver’s whip
And there is nothing for her to say except

I’m sorry

and nothing for her to do but to hope
it is enough
like the clouds hope the wind
is enough
like the dust hopes the sun
is enough
to pull from the soil what water
there once was hope
in the water they drank
but now there’s only the sting
of salt that they imagine
between sips of conversation
stinging in the wounds he wishes
he’d received because it would
give her a reason to care for him
like God used to care for His children.

Salvation

for Heidi Kraft

in the second before the bomb
fell from God,
he felt himself slip from
the Lord’s embrace
as only a favourite son can
slip from his father’s arms.

it happened in slow motion.
he could see only the child
and hear only the sound of his rifle
giggling.

he waited a long time to die,
but death was something
he could only look at,
his Sergeant stopping him from
getting too close,
a mother tugging at her son’s bloodied shirt.

sweat-soaked bed,
burdened by my weight which grows heavier
with every moment I spend straddling the line dividing the light
and the dark which tears through the souls of people
who have known both.

the last time this window was open my brother fell out
and now he spends his days drawing with a package of
crayons which melt when faced with the son of reality,
a classical painting in a museum of modern art.

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