By John Grey
The night is the sky mostly.
Trees are one heaped shadow.
The lake’s lost to its shore.
Mountains retreat beyond the eye.
Only high, do shapes remain.
My fire gives details to my face
but no one’s here to see.
My sleeping roll
unfolds to its edges
and no further.
Shadow, night, sleep, blackness –
I’m at the rim
of every known dark.
Hunger tells you stories
of hot wind across desert,
of sheet lightning,
of trembling guts and empty pockets.
When the city noise
is too loud for it to shout over
it keeps the tale going from inside you,
becomes more circumspect,
speaks with a crackle
like an old phonograph record
of a politician giving a speech.
Hunger needs an audience
and it always knows where to find you,
under the same overpass,
with the usual cronies,
all green teeth, ratty hair
and breath like gasoline.
Sometimes hunger comes in disguise
and it encourages you
to take a swig from that bottle you found
that could be whiskey,
could even be kerosene.
Hunger can sing soft but compelling
in the voice of the one who last
provided you with three meals a day.
That’s years ago now.
Hunger has no memory
but it assumes that you do.
Sand abbreviates a ghost town’s story,
shutters the mine,
buries the roads leading in and out.
A lesser history gives birth to saltbush,
No trees. No shadows.
The sun’s advance is unstoppable.
blows from the west
Dust devils dance
on rocky floor.
That’s it for movement.
John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident, recently published in Soundings East, Dalhousie Review and Connecticut River Review. Latest book, “Leaves On Pages” is available through Amazon.
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