Friday, February 14, 2020


We Meet Briefly, If At All

They are digging a new grave in the cemetery
as I round the corner on my walk, the machines clank and clatter
like ghosts shaking out their bones

It is a good reminder, I think
about where it all ends
in the end
and what we can do between now
and then.

The ghosts whisper from the edges,
peeking between gravestones
daring me to look back
but I am too superstitious
and I know that if I do
and if I am seen by their empty eyes
I cannot be unseen.

The sidewalk is empty
except for one thin girl
leaning against the light post waiting on the bus

and another man coming towards us.
He is ambling, headphones in his ears, seemingly calm.

The three of us are like meteors traveling through the night sky.
The only living things in New York about to come together 
and then depart for good
and I think it works that way.

We meet briefly, if at all.

But he stops near a discarded television set instead.
He considers it for a moment before with a scream,
he kicks it.
Again and again, the plastic exploding under his foot
is not enough and now he picks up the stand and lifts it over his head
slamming it again and again into the screen
which bends and breaks under the assault.

I freeze
press myself against the wrought iron bars of the cemetery
and beg the ghosts to take me with them,
take me down,
take me into the sky
take me anywhere but here

Take me away from this rage.

--Ally Malinenko

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