A la fin es las de ce monde ancien --
From the church roofs at dusk, the pigeons burst,
a flock of semi-colons,
holding together separate but related clauses,
and we are a flock of pigeons, and a clause
waiting for this flight before evening can salvage us:
the broken thing, the flight---escape.
For a long time, bottles were a hobby we perceived,
the way your lips blew smoke into their necks,
or I smashed them into gutters.
My hands never bleed. I have cut them with jewels,
have flayed them for high treason.
What did I touch to stay alive? It is the sound you made,
so low, so soft, into the bottle's neck.
Green thing that cannot save us.
Loss that cannot perjure.
A sky full of orange disdain, a hand full of glass.
Someone's white elbows lean on the balcony.
The singer chants something unmemorable.
When desire comes, all the cheap songs are forgiven.
And what do we forgive?
Since 2006, Joe Weil has been teaching at Binghamton University. Before that he was an itinerant poet/work shop leader and tool maker in New Jersey. He makes his home in Binghamton with his wife, the poet, Emily Vogel, two small children, and a book forthcoming from New York Quarterly called "A Night in Duluth."