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Issue 113, Summer 2021

Photo by Benjamin Blättler via Unsplash

As a kid, I loved the ancient accidents left to rust, 
the colors of my wounds made lovely in light 

of suffering’s new address.  I longed to see my cast
off problems in the rust-infected metal, the stiff

black fabric eaten by the rain.  A long-discarded car
drips slowly back to earth like a driver at the end 

of a journey.  A body lies down, the mind drives on.
What I know of heaven I learned from the sparrow,

how the lords of common ground power its ascent.  
I studied the ghost curve that pierces every moment

like a thread inside the pearls of stiller postures.
Less a reversal than a bend in a river, a continuous

 departure.  What I know of a closure is a dying fall.
I had an uncle who died at the wheel.  He fell asleep.  

How anyone could tell, I do not know.  He fell 
and kept on falling in the hole I prepared for him.  

The emptiness I call the promise of a better life.  
A quarry of water the color of a sky.  I want to say 

he visited me.  He was more than a song I played 
in my head.  I want, I want.  Is there any affinity more 

beautiful and empty, more flammable come dawn.  
I had an uncle who broke the guardrail with his fender.  

Nothing is nothing to me.  It is fullness that terrifies.  
The bottom of the canyon.  The basin that says

a bell is struck, and the calm to come is music,
the fullness of nothing coming at you in the dark. 

Bruce Bond

Bruce Bond is the author of 27 books, including Rise and Fall of the Lesser Sun Gods (Elixir, 2018), Frankenstein’s Children (Lost Horse, 2018), Dear Reader (Parlor, 2018), Plurality and the Poetics of Self (Palgrave, 2019), Words Written against the Walls of the City (LSU, 2019), and Scar (Etruscan, 2020).