Birds had been falling from the sky all day. I leaned out the window. The street churned with lights and sirens. Pickpockets worked the crowd. Something bundled like a baby lay under a rose bush. I didn’t see it, as I was distracted by a pair of dancing feet.
Everything’s lost! the messenger cried. Chairs and wine glasses, humble cherished objects, flew in great circles over our heads. We let words chose their own meanings. Awake in her little bed, the young daughter of friends listened to a querulous piece of chalk scratching all night on the blackboard.
The streets were decked out with flags and banners for some unspecified celebration. She smiled when I told her. Only I would have noticed the poignant tilt of her head. The sky was an empty gray glove. Winos whispered directions. Holding hands, we stopped to watch a road crew reaffix the fallen leaves to branches.
To get red, you need dust and haze. Pollution makes the sky so beautiful. Sparks showered down on us.
Only collaborators had permission to stay. It was the anniversary of the disappearance of wild birds. A government clerk sat in a café eating a macaroon. He would lower his eyes when a woman or transport passed. One war was always ending, another always beginning.
About Howie Good:
Howie Good's latest chapbook is Threatening Weather from Whale Sounds, available as a free download at http://wschap5.wordpress.com/