The usual despair has gone missing by Mercedes Lawry

I feel for the edge with my toes.
You are behind me, though I cannot hear
your breath. I know something about your silence.
The afternoon clouds are gloves of old cotton,
the kind we wore to church. I am unsure of belief
but I miss the dead, a host of them,
a damn choir they might be in the bloated sky.

Alert and swallowing shards of wind,
I look across as if I had wings
and could mimic the hawk. You won’t draw
closer. It’s part of the arrangement
and though I’ve been known to break the rules,
to offer up the greater good for a simple trespass,
I’m emptied now, without expectation
of petty gods or good deeds or love,
examined and refused.

Mercedes Lawry
Mercedes Lawry has published poetry in such journals as Poetry, Nimrod, Prairie Schooner, Poetry East, Natural Bridge, and others. Thrice-nominated for a Pushcart Prize, she’s published two chapbooks, most recently Happy Darkness. She’s also published short fiction, essays and stories and poems for children. She lives in Seattle.Mercedes Lawry