John Colburn – brainwash the skyline

John Colburn

brainwash the skyline

In the long trash-blown evenings we watch the blue
in the wrists of the television families for signs of
a blossoming cruelty, and summer drones like hair
that grows during a solitaire game.  Someone is
having breakfast in Kansas City, in a different life,
and all that spotted sky in between, locusts quivering
in a thin stream of dusk; how will we know each other
when we meet?  Our mothers’ ears fill with rain or
telephone static.  The body waits like a vase for the
flowers that say we’re going to suffer.  A train passes
a fruit tree and the wind’s lash flutters.  Do you think
we could travel the untroubled miles into sleep like
snowdrifts, easing toward the disappointment of
morning?  Do you think we could do it with less
furniture?  Our bodies glow like tourists on a vigil,
caught in the migratory pathway of light’s gossip.
I promise you a river, I promise you a city, I promise
you a swing set on fire in the blue of cocktail hour and
a kiss on the wrist that says don’t wake up, sweetheart,
but keep thinking of me.  In gracious naps our steam
dangling recital rolls on, and for the airlift into the
installment plan we build a brochure of childhood that
says:   from an insurance point of view, I’m a snow angel.

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