[38] Still life with a vacancy, Sean Bentley

Once highway was road, was once
a woody hill, once magma. No
shadow glitters in the air
though memory places
grandpa’s shop walls here:
gone. Unromantic as someone
moving from a doorway,
now it is empty.
We are shards composed
within a great kaleidoscope.
Our pattern perceived
destroys itself.
*
I stood at Fort Sumter where soldiers
died, and Brooklyn’s huge prosaic
boneyard. The whole world
is a Bermuda Triangle. Things
disappear, you and I from wherever
we are now, from our spots in time
or Earth, in memory or blood.
Come hold me.
Come before we both
vanish altogether.
*
Here is a box. Empty
of photos taken
of childhood spots
since torn down.
It once belonged to
a relative I didn’t know
I had, who is dead now.
Farther and farther,
like falling
down a flight of mirrors.
*
This used to be the place
I’d come trying not to be
in love. It is still
a place. God knows
what it is used for now.
Other horrible things.
Enough! We are already
evaporating, burning
helplessly. Why do we then
use each other for torches?
*
Here is the bed in which
my dreams once dissolved,
where some day I will say
it used to be empty.

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