[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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