broken plastic and shattered glass
pockmarking a civilization
where two wild creatures
claw each other’s flesh.
Our screams startle wounded animals,
our choked, wasted
as voices did
in those first, rude Mesopotamian huts.
And in palaces.
And beside westward trails.
Lives spin out like gossamer
the wind will coil,
reuse. I lift my bones
and a star goes out.
The melody dims.
We dance alone.
Shadows clinging to the hills darken clefts
where trees once grew. Standing there
alone he sees a hawk disappear
behind a barren sheaf of rock
and hears the barked alarms of distant dogs.
The rain, lifting, seems to cupola the town,
a shimmering roof of dripping gray.
With it he floats away, into thoughts
that are not words but pulses
of remembered dreams, love words spoken,
goodbyes said. Head bowed, he smiles and waits
for warmth, the sun, another seamless day.
Robert Joe Stout is a freelance journalist and currently resides in Oaxaca, Mexico. His essays, fiction, and poetry appear in a wide variety of commercial and literary magazines.