Death, as does friendship, falls beyond us;
drowning, a firm handshake, bare smile,
the opaque air of two split spheres:
our lives roll like dimes down a sewer.

Then, no names held us, wind blew us
into corners, yesterday’s news
smudging the hands faintly before meals.
You were the first to go away.

Emptiness for years was not death;
not even now, in the first thaw,
do the sparse elms seem less sparse; not
the scald of summer past your head

could ripen all the dead minutes
between us, friend. We are not dead,
neither listens to the other,
neither cares. No, we are not dead.

I never write. Your letters lie,
but not to me. Our parents crush
the thoughts that each of us must think,
and pile them cleanly by their beds.

This is a reprint of work originally published in The New Infinity Review.

Keith Moul’s poems and photos are published widely. Finishing Line Press released a chap called The Future as a Picnic Lunch in 2015. Aldrich Press will publish Naked Among Possibilities in 2016.

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