Howie Good


One week it’s an uncle in Jerusalem who shatters. The next week it’s my father who calls. What can cause more harm if misused, love or hate? The question confuses me. Some nights I need to take a pill to fall asleep. A motel sign advertises cable TV and no vacancies. I go to bed still bleeding a little, like a man from a country where no one else lives.

He wouldn’t take off his hat. To live well, he said, you must live unseen. He had a rope around his neck and one leg over the railing. A passerby happened to notice the bank clock said 11:11. The most mysterious thing is a fact clearly stated. I inquired at the desk. The sun will shine for another six billion years. At least.

I stood there with an umbrella under my arm, a mournful observer. Others ran. It was what machines dream about, but covered in flames and the maps of missing countries.

During dinner, the trees dropped leaves in the pond. She said something about guilt and forgiveness. The orange cat that had adopted us was licking itself under the table. I nodded as if I understood. Night frost lit up the fields, a language that has no word for the past.

Howie Good is the author of the full-length poetry collections Lovesick (Press Americana, 2009), Heart With a Dirty Windshield (BeWrite Books, 2010), and Everything Reminds Me of Me (Desperanto, 2011).
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