The Bullet

The bullet sped through the air
going nowhere

Aunt Martha was ironing
ironically enough

On a high balcony
in Barcelona

Larvae take a few hours or days
to mature and then
look out!

The clothes were neatly pressed in a pile
and then piled in a press

Time has a way of keeping still
for important events

Nothing greases silence better
than an important event

Time was winding down
and space was sharpening to a point

Travel from A to B is often sudden
and brutal

A direct consequence of a true
concatenation of events

poising a conclusion on the
head of a pin

which punctures the silence
with a bang

heard round the world
from balcony to bridge to battleship to
bathysphere bobbing in the bath of life

The bullet sped forward and
didn’t look back

With grim determination
it didn’t know where it was going

Though where it landed was the
end of all knowledge itself

As many waves as crest on the open sea
or clouds in the scudding sky

Or something whistling through the wind
to deliver destiny’s personal blow

like a signed love letter dipped in scent
and sent through the perfume of the air
to a fair beloved

Though we don’t know it each blow is a
love blow

The children were playing on the terrace
hoops and jacks and hopscotch and clue

The president was signing documents at his desk
flags of all nations furled and unfurled
behind him

Like a kiss it landed where it
needed to land

Sent from a serious hand

The young soldier in mid-sentence
put a period to his life sentence

Though he never finished his last sentence
sentenced to eternal transcendence

Aunt Martha ironed another shirt
he’d wear only once

on a balcony in Barcelona

On a hilltop overlooking the sea

On a day without clouds

Above the noisy city

2/12/2005 (from Holiday from the Perfect Crime)

Categories: Poems, Death