now that the world is over
i've got a lot of time
i'm reading through your journals
that was before the fire
you saw the seasons turning
you heard the war machines
they blossomed under buildings
while america dreamed

i mark your words and wonder
whatever god it was
came warring out of nowhere
and burned our bones to dust
you know the brain has buildings
a room for every day
i build a house with no windows
and hide my war away

behold a gutted city
with helter-skelter lines
and blackened doors and windows
and vacant, tarnished signs
i ride a ghosted subway
in nowheres underground
i cannot name the stations
i hear the scraping jaw sound

i met a man from new york
hid in a cloven wall
a tunnel lit by embers
and vacant, tarnished scrawl
he was a man of letters
he was a publisher
he had no book to his name
he had no name at all

you know the mind has mountains
i go out walking there
i feel the seasons turning
i feel the mounting air
i fashion out of nothing
an image of the earth
it blossoms under buildings
ungrammatized and rare

if you come back to brooklyn
i'll make it worth your while
we'll wander empty buildings
and cook with holy fire
and in the evening embers
we'll make a quiet love
with every bone a-tremble
and every breath enough

now that the world is over
i read about the war
i found it tongued and tattered
beside an apple core
it blossomed out of nowhere
with the steel scream
i watch the pages turning
while my america dreams


from sketches around a city, released September 4, 2011




peter j hochstedler South Bend, Indiana

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