Nothing takes place suddenly...nature never makes leaps.


There is this side of the gate and there is that. There is the plane

returning her black skirts to the storm drain of childhood's

burning docks, the plummeting and the maternal eye turned

elseward and never like the first eye, the patch

of photosensitive skin turned toward movement and light

but black like the scabbed-over eye of blindfish swimming

though the dark tunnels of 20th century bomb shelters

adulthood stained bitter walnut, coal dust in the tube stations

set to stone in the small sacs of children's lungs

an eye irrevocable unsinkable, patched from the flying grit

missing each train away from the dying and later

the big house built to pry up the heavy lids, two car garage

to render happy lines, bright curves at the mouth

like white phosphorus falling

or buzz bombs entering our house during the war


this side of the gate, or that

see the tall wife, the blonde, and each new child

a sweater of its own, new shoes, not the air raid sirens

of our past, bread with lard from last week, but now

copper kitchens and crystal to take this last

ounce from that last bottle, and still the black skirts pass

into boarding, and the line-up of how well we've come to seem


bombed out shattered life slouching behind

this line of well-dressed blank-eyed children, there you go

not even a wave, my children as invisible as me

Originally published in Caliban Online, Issue 23

Published under the name A. Non