Howie Good

Sunset Prayer

I heard some noise, a loud bang,
and turned around, and saw the sky
belligerently blooming offshore,
and the sea was moving, too,
like a silver car driving very fast,
maybe even on the sidewalk,
and it looked deliberate,
didn’t look like an accident
(how do you do that by accident?),
and it’s what makes my life
Hindu magnet incense for now.

At the Light

Driver after driver looks away,
disgusted, afraid, wishing, like me,

the stoplight would hurry up
and change, but, no, he appears

in the next moment beside our car,
a beggar with a battered face,

holding out an empty drink cup,
and there’s nowhere to go,

where are we going to go,
when the sky darkens like a bruise

and the only flowers for sale
are flowers meant for funerals?


Sailors just grabbed what they could –
a Bible, a blanket –as the ship broke apart
in blue wind, red rain, nightmarish pink seas.

Back on land, graves vomited up the dead.
Any storm that terrible used to be given
a woman’s name. Tonight people are singing

outside the church while lighting candles.
Some of us can hear distinct words, but others,
only sobs or sighs. This place will burn.

Howie Good is the author of The Loser's Guide to Street Fighting, winner of the 2017 Lorien Prize. His latest collection is I'm Not a Robot from Tolsun Books. He co-edits the journals UnLost and Unbroken with Dale Wisely.
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