poet’s apology

I wonder about my neighbors
what they would say
if they knew I was
typing them out
fleshing them on to paper
pinning them there like
butterflies unmoving
their stiff wings fragile
kept away from the light
to avoid fading
their lips are there
the clothes they wear
their hands spread against the backs
of their children
their cars breaking down in gullies
their words splattering
like glass on the ground
the knives they hurl
the smell of them
under the covers at night
the way the light falls
through the window
on their cheeks
the door slamming
the cows moving their haunches
chewing up the fields
black letters strung out
fisted together in bunches
I cannot help it
I gather it in fitfully
compulsive
afraid it will all
drift away
if I don’t
get it
down

Published in:
Showcase Press
Issue One  2006

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