“Rumpus, Cohesion, Mess” by Thom Ward

Thom Ward


The bed sheet knows the vices I’ve slept.
How quickly it nooses my feet. Someone said,
we’re wrong men in a right world, all that
zigzag anger. Not quite—that’s another movie.
We’re wrong men who’ve built a wrong world,
each with a knapsack full of crushed glass,
cigarette butts. Photos of our children march
off the walls to a music only the dog can hear.
Rumpus minus cohesion equals mess. So many
weapons, I’m waiting for the plunger to make
the first move. Why should the water play fair.
Is that a cross around your neck or the last bird?
Things forgotten scream out for help in dreams
but not as loudly as things remembered.

from Rattle #32, Winter 2009
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