Today's poem is by Rodney Wittwer

Gone & Gone

We meet as always
on the corner of dusk & dark &
against that soubrettish tablet we step off
in search of the invisible night
that lurks inside darkness
like a well-kept secret
or a lie.

Wherever we are becomes
a carnival, a fair of the heart
with sidling glances at lust.
We knock down all the bottles
with one throw & are given a bear
so big we want to find someone
to give it to: there can be
such hard waking,
an ache inside every morning
& an ash to be raked at night.
But right now, if the streets cry out
at the awful crush & grind
we'll pick up more achievers,
new acquaintances of longing
& hold them to us
like limbs, like borrowed air
as we answer the siren call.

In the shadows where nothing is
reclaimed we romance on, each shot
getting easier to take on, put back,
shove off.

We approach from every way
but never arrive.
Across the street the light goes red.
Who are they trying to stop? Suddenly
we realize that like a person
who has seen more than ever happened
we are back where we began,
on the corner of dark & dawn,
elbows locked in clutching
the prize of all those hours before.

Sometimes whole dreams come back,
like the chorus at the end of a song
or the sound of a cricket trapped
in the same field every night—
its fevered rush toward the rest
that comes with light.

We open our mouths to sing
& there is such crying to wake the world
the humming of all-night diners
& laundromats will have to stop;
the wailing surges up the avenue
like a brutish street-cleaning.
We're parading in the discordant
lullaby, the cacophony of
this world & its creatures.

Our companions fallen away, I turn
into dawn's early dissonance
after dragging all night from one
face to another these unbearable
remains of a gift.
Everyone knows where they're going
until they're gone.

Copyright © 2012 Rodney Wittwer All rights reserved
from Gone & Gone
Red Hen Press
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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