Voices on the Wind
Voices from Home
by Ken Boe
He opened his black leather bag of guns,
blue metal poking up in moonlight
like a rushing bloom, he misunderstood,
and like a trap door, nostalgia jumped
retrograde to the old back house,
or perhaps the paranoia of nostalgia,
the places better off neglected.
In the center was a Franklin Stove
where mice smelled through trajectory
the mediation of hidden things;
chewing on star seed, and paper wrappers,
but never a message of day light,
always a dark astronomy
through cracks in the faded wallpaper
of some fantasy-of-innocence design
cutting through plaster to the wood lathing,
a magic lantern for the quiet dwellers
who looked out, generation after generation,
to the people who gnaw on secrets.
He rubbed his hand against the paper label
of his box of hollow-point bullets.
It reminded him of the old wallpaper,
her crying muffled from the other side.
Blue and yellow flowers, cut at the stem,
peeling at the seam at the corners
that held together the four walls, the roof,
and a cellar for curing wild meats.
He leaned his body into her memory
pumping the covetous dereliction,
forcing images up the stairs of a lie,
his con the evidence of a darker truth.
And now he looked down from up on the hill,
hidden by a tangle of juniper tree shadows:
indiscernible branches of separation.