The houses on her street looked like toys
that long ago were set in a safe place
and then taken out too often by fierce boys
who longed to leave the world without a trace.
When I found her body on the corner
there were figures singing among the ruins,
but they hadn’t gathered there to mourn her,
they were calling on their god with soulful tunes.
Too many shattered clocks to give me time.
To dust thou shall return. Not even this.
A tired soldier covered her with lime,
No place to hold her, no place left to kiss.
And I? I wanted, I knew inside my dread,
to be the one crying, not the one dead.
—from Rattle #38, Winter 2012
Daniel J. Langton: “When I was still a boy I discovered Poetry: A Magazine of Verse in the East Harlem branch of the New York Public Library, and nothing has been the same from that day to this.” (website)