Keith Flynn

11 Sep 01


Falling from the sky last night

Above Asheville like a giant

Burning mum was the most

Beautiful moon I have ever seen.

Swaddled in sherbert mist,

Variegated silver and enormous,

With jet liners slowly crawling

On its gourd face, poised like flies

On a summer squash and away,

Leaving that sudden scowl,

Immediate and carnal, like the furiously

Indifferent Arab faces of thieves

Whose purity upended poor Genet.

But nothing puts the skin back,

No stitched hair circling between

The year’s numbed fingers,

Not the full moon’s sugar

Dissolving across these green ridges,

Not a thousand swollen doubloons

Shifting their galleon loads

In the starry pool. Nothing helps

Set the shining eyes back on their pins.

And this loosed conflict breaks

The back of those that are left.


Poetry is no balm, but poetry

Is what the world wants when

Its heart is broken. Injury loves melody,

Just as the tyrants learn to beware

A movement that sings, what the drunken

Warrior needs is a tune, a chorus of amity

Timed to peel his frontal despair

Back across him like a caftan,

Warm as a mother, calming these

Coiled and rattling whores of war.

Ground Zero’s milk sick cove,

With its steel beams reaching mantis-like

Out of the gored smoke, is seeking

A place for the grief to go, a hole

To pour in all the remnants

Of our punctured Soul and like

An ice fisherman fixed to his perfect

Circle, we would pull out fear’s

Slow wiggle in a nourishment of tears

And forget Death, stalking like a butler,

Stuck in his charge like a fly in amber,

Dusting all masters down, a sanctified

Alien moving between the oak furniture,

Entering the silence of our towns.