“The Hit Man Absentmindedly Kills a Fly” by Laurie Blauner

Laurie Blauner


Each body is patient. Each in their different way,
sometimes words cough out. In the syncopation of knives,
something is left. Dirt under my fingernails.
Insects resembling bullets worry the air

and this is the time for small talk, time to implicate
yourself into the next day. The buzz is for a job
well done, applause, money. Time swallows
big words in the short hours

of each afternoon. A friend’s voice tosses itself over
like evidence of sunlight, proving its existence
in this half visible world, where a stranger’s smile
could mean laughter, acquiescence, or death.

I let the air wash me, a congregation of
sounds beginning and ending. The day moves on
awkwardly wounded, looking for sanctuary,

knowing nothing, no matter how small, is forgiven.

from Rattle e.2, Spring 2007

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