Is this what you asked for, my friend, these words, is
what you meant when you said—?
On the bus, it settled between us, the dead
skin of living
children in a blizzard. Sand
from the stars. Ancient violets. The crushed
wings of bees and the dander of birds. So
much small stuff, yes, on the breeze, but at our desks
made a circus of it. Asthma, weeping, elephants,
and clowns. A man slipped screaming from his trapeze
as a sequined girl twirled
over him in a noose—
Excuse me? I couldn’t
hear what you said
over the roar of the billion
specks descending, over the accumulation of flakes
You asked me for something, I know that much, I know
you called my name
as you stumbled down the garden
path beneath my bed, gasping, as you knelt down there
among the childhood flowers made of dust and human
Copyright © 2004 Laura Kasischke
Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, Inc.
on behalf of Copper Canyon Press.