Jeff G. Lytle: Maybe We’re Quakers

Cataclysm. The juice of the
ever after. A hard look from
the Saint. But hey, even

mediocre deaths are deaths,
breathless and blue. Happen
on a busted egg amid

the garbage and gum of
the sidewalk, its puny cargo
ejected, naked and bony,
into dead December. Or a

divot in the foot of blizzard
gathering on the playground, then
the wing marks left like arrows
as a pigeon lifted itself and dragged

forward for an hour before it
quit, then the wind that shuffles
its feathers and the snow that
overcomes it. Maybe it breathes

there awhile or maybe its heart
gave out already in mid-flight.
Just birds, and the deaths of birds.

Not so much as a box of
hair in a hurricane. Flint and tinder and

breath. Snuffed. A reliquary
of old nonsense. Light,

sharp as gin, catches on the
iced stalagmites of snow banks
rotten with oil and black dirt.

An abandoned city infected
with rust. The dark stairs home.

Light etching through cracks
in the drawn blinds. Light always
withdrawing, failing us.



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