By Alison Stone
It is midnight and a slice of moon
reflects off branches of the trees
we sat under. I walk in the dangerous rain and watch
cars roll home toward hangovers
and vows that seem important
during the short hours between breakfast and betrayal.
There are many wrong solutions
to the crossword of our families and jobs. All the Downs
are film stars and islands off the coast of Spain.
Everything Across is money in one of its masks.
We carry on through marriages and reruns
of the seasons and the rain. One can't even
eat dry chicken and peas on a tray in safety. A gorilla
or a topless girl is bound to turn up
with birthday greetings
and a kiss on the cheek from Aunt Harriett.
I wear expensive ugly modern clothes and stab people
with jewelry. Music is the rope we grab
from the windows of skyscrapers where we now sleep alone
with memories of festivals and fields
and years when unsafe sex brought only babies.
The tears fall and the pages turn, revealing answers.
They backstroke toward us on the waves
of sure forgotten things,
then flip and disappear as the tide rolls out.
From They Sing at Midnight, MMM Press, 2003