Curfew

February 08, 1996|By Ellen Kirvin Dudis

11.44. The minutes

on the waiting end begin to drag.

Out there under staring planets

and a billion blinking stars,

the children let their magic lag

against the tide like waterlilies,

all of them drifting the innocent

dark immortal as Achilles

dipped in gasoline. Their cars

are marking time. For now,

the pent-

up powers of the cosmos gather

shadows on cold metallic flanks

that never shiver, never lather,

never frighten, never care.

Windshields glitter where the

late moon banks

its climb. 11.57.

On the starless ceiling overhead

a glimmer from the light left on

outside plays movies of despair,

stories of god-awfully dead

children of other mothers, bodies

of the most impossible grief

forever asking where God was -- ?

Out there eternity tires.

The night's old hat. Cars come

to life

and up leaps the road in the blind

ones'

fingers. The distance ahead

unfolds

like a wake parting the winedark

pinewoods, glimpsing the deer's

neon eyes. The precious thread

holds

its course, one curve after another,

and leaves a trail of ghostwritten

wrecks

in the red exhaust that smothers

all. Headlights flood the room.

... Here

they are! The dog barks. 12.06.

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