Sparrow

by Bernard Henrie
The Writer's Block
Honorable Mention, July 2007
Judged by Maurya Simon


6:30. The radio just lighting up. November
in corridors, faint yellow bulbs turning on.

Men take down their trousers, lazy at last;
butter placed on the table, fresh meat cut
on heavy bread, almost eaten.

Utensils burnt underneath with electric heat,
men beside dishes in the sink, women released
from shops asleep on davenports, a soiled potato
in a pail; once vivid folds of hair pinned back.

There are men who look out between the blinds
and darken as the light falls dark, grow still
in rooms that grow quieter still.

Not morning time, not afternoon, time written
down but not addressed, thin painted palm trees
on fields of long faded green, a souvenir cup
holding a tooth brush, a cloth your scent;
lumps of hydrogen stars, clouds of meteor gas
and fumes of futile ascent.

I have held a mask across my face,
stayed alone longer than I should want,
become fossil bone and broken shell.
Almost partners with the migratory birds
fallen on thermal air and comic suspense.



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