EVERYTHING AFTER THAT
There were many empty chairs. There would be even more. The damned were being led through a treeless garden of a thousand sad thoughts. Children and spastics scattered in fright. A little gentleman in a bowler hat searched his pockets for the paragraph he had torn from the newspaper. The murderer, face lit by a gas lamp, whispered, “There’s so much left to do.”
Spring had arrived early, then coffins, each covered with a soldier’s greatcoat. The murderer took flight. People crossed the street on their hands and knees.
The flowers were hardly open when the rain killed them, the roses, poor roses, ten ragged musicians in distress worrying about what would happen if a cat sat on a baby’s face as it slept.
Angels in pink silk shoes decorated with rosebuds wandered through the rooms. It was the house of a hanged man. The cat made every effort to appear elegantly bored.
A wheelbarrow of weathered skulls stood off to the side, white in the morning, lilac during the day, orange in the evening.
The muse was in the woods. She had handed me over to the firing squad. A blond light pervaded as softly as a piano playing.
Howie Good, a journalism professor at SUNY New Paltz, 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).