by Lex Runciman
Brakes fail. We lie.
Carrots stick in the gullet,
coughing triggers a stroke.
Rain freezes. A runner on stairs
unmoors itself and slides.
Against all justice, the baby sickens.
A woman putting on the thirteenth green
dizzies, her last words, "my head aches,"
and "take me home."
War hovers. Your watch is off.
What child deserves such parents?
Dead fish clog the river, wash ashore,
then the smell begins. Someone's son
strangles a person he thinks he loves.
Crops wilt. The knife slips.
Ridicule leads to bruises.
That person listens and walks away,
and that one, who said the wrong things,
knows it. No touch endures
The doctor is unsure.
Memory says love is unreturned.
The words you have rehearsed
vanish from your mouth. Sleep
teases. Gesture is not enough.
I don't know how we go on.