This poem can't sleep.
It slips in and out of bad rhyme.
The lines bump, run on
come up short.
It hears explosions between syllables.
Smells death in the distance.
The poem blinks, rolls over
on its back. Its lover
tucks her head on its shoulder
and the poem thinks, oh yes
now I can count my breathing
finish it in the morning.
But the poem can't listen.
It keeps seeing faces.
Blank faces, white nothing
and silent screams keep the poem
running after itself.
Something, someone is dying.
The poem dodges looking for a place to hide
A fox hole, a haiku, a villanelle.
It just can't sleep with all the goings on
All the young faces, the bodies blowing up
in darkness and repetition, all the bruised
words, the onomatopoeia, alliteration
gods, tyrants, poetry flags and enormous bombs
shaped like poems for the flash
and forget, of what is, or not
that keeps it awake this time.
Maybe a glitch, the poem thinks.
Maybe start over, free itself.
Find another truth in what ever
Godforsaken hell flashes
in the poem this time.
*2009 WOOD COIN: Watch the Star-crack Spread Issue: Plumb, “Night”