moments ago i was aware of it all.
aware with the kind of attention you give when you’re lost but not on the clock.
aware of the architecture of the houses and the condition of the lawns,
of the smooth texture of the swiss blue topaz sky
marked only by a single cloud, shaped like a man’s head
with his mouth agape, screaming small black birds in migration.
i could see them as they passed through his esophagus and poured
out into the sky. words he could never take back.
i put on the turn signal and paused, hearing the sharp pulse of the indicator,
glanced left at the street sign, wondering how long i might be stuck going one way,
and turned sharply the blind corner.
it happened so fast my body had no time to brace against the impact.
in an instant every sense was lost but the force of the hit straight to bone,
the rapid expansion and contraction of muscles trying to keep order.
the glass of every window gone, all four doors blown from the frame,
the vehicle that brought me here now unrecognizable but to henry moore.
memory is like an octopus whose arms, when detached, can still bring food to the mouth.
it needs only a vehicle to bring us, crashing in forced reintegration,
here. to the parking lot where we said goodbye.
above, a single black bird escapes the screaming man’s fading lips.