Friday, December 23, 2011


I’m dressed in a French-cut suit the color of a cloudy day. A cadaver dog approaches, hesitant and mannerly. There’s no effective pill. There never was.

Knives and hammers merge into one vast night. Hardly anyone else is listening.  I pass the sixth day translating another misery into lights and voices. Meanwhile, the tired waitress steps down off the bus and shivers. The gods respond to questions only in the summer when all the windows are open.

Somewhere there’s a picture of me with a different face. Why bother to force a giraffe into a flower pot? I seem to be thinking. Great sages never phoned, and even if they had, their language would’ve been gray and obscure. My cuts bled. The hole in my favorite T-shirt also refused to heal. Only one thing left to do, the fat lady said – sing.

Higher and higher, past thickets, boulders, grievous ravines, floats a horse, broken and crumbly, gnawing its side. I stand knee-deep in blue grass. There’s a haze between me and the rest of the world. In the sudden start, somebody lost his hat. Nobody stops to pick it up. Tonight we’ll water our horses in the Tennessee River. The stars will be hard to see.

About Howie Good:
Howie Good, a journalism professor at SUNY New Paltz, is the author of the forthcoming poetry collection, Dreaming in Red, from Right Hand Pointing.

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