Phantom Stranger

the day we forgot to protect our passwords
there was all this beauty we missed out on:
the fruit from that quince tree, tiny and tart,
rolling along the sidewalks, into the gutters;
shadows like vampire capes caressing the
lawn, smiling when you don’t particularly
feel like it is beautiful, so is light on red
barns, light biding its time out behind the
salvation army where men patiently wait
for a free hot meal. a cannibal dictator
cries over his mother, an ex-girlfriend
goes crazy trying to fix everything all
at once, revenge festers like cankerworm,
like abū bakr al-bahgdadi still seething
over spain’s reconquista of andalusia,
the husband so dumb he’s still keeping
score. beauty’s like a phantom stranger
lurking behind potted plants and always
the last to leave the party. we fought
over money while rust ripped the door
right off the hinges. spun right around
by american ghosts and facebook likes,
a hand reaches out, ties it all together,
that’s beauty: eternally she calls to us.

Darrell Epp’s poetry has been published in over 100 magazines on 6 continents. His third collection, Sinners Dance, will be published in 2018.

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