by g emil reutter
In this place, spirits dwell with the
living, whose lives are mended from small
broken pieces, a woman sits on a stoop
looks into the night sky, watches her
dreams transverse the universe. A man
sits on a porch strums a guitar, sings
to the moon only to applaud himself.
In the tasteless night air a man sits on
a bench conversing with himself as
a street preacher speaks to him, neither
listen to the other, as teenagers watch
their laughter mingle with useless words.
In the dank alley, he slithers among the
ductile, imparts his product along moss
covered bricks and pockets cash from their
clammy hands, watches as their lives
disappear in wafts rising into the darkness
She stands, leaves her dreams behind, climbs
into a car where a man gapes at her vacant
eyes tells her she is pretty. She smiles
blackened gums, toothless; he pulls her by
sparse hair into his lap. The man on the
porch sings one last song, sips a 40 and
falls asleep in front of boarded up windows.
1 thought on “Restless Night”
Very bleak. Very good. All the characters disintegrate into the “small broken pieces” from which their “lives” were “mended.” The sinister unidentified figure in the second to last stanza appears to be the instrument, perhaps the spirit, who “watches as their lives disappear in wafts rising into the darkness of night.” We onlookers could see ourselves as victims of the same. The broken syntax of the poem contributes to its portrayal of broken lives.