As a child I tossed all my imaginary friends out the window of a fast moving train because I wanted to feel my fist break open as I freed them, as each of their bodies whipped against the siding, their insides: snow dispersing into wind, their little heads rolling across the yellow plains. Because I believed they would return. But none have since. Not even the ones I didn’t love.
Richer than Anyone in Heaven
I abandoned my shoes at the corner
of Market & Pine. It was hailing.
We were holding tin pots above our heads.
Collecting the granulated wind
and singing. I don’t care
about my shoes, I said. The city was in ruins.
Pieces of fiberglass glittered in gutters
like particles of space shuttles,
of a moon shattered. We will be richer
than anyone in heaven, I said.
We stole from parlors the dying embers,
gathered the porcelain figurines.
On the fizzled trees, leaves
clanged like spoons. Our shopping cart
squeaked down the cobblestone street.
Saw-toothed lightning slashed the sky.
Will there be music, you asked,
on the other side?
We listened through wind-vents
for echoes of earthquakes, listened for God
until the radio died. A hawk floated down
like a frayed paper crane,
snagged its claws on the electrical wire.
We crumbled the hands
from statues of saints. Beneath the cathedrals
were underground trains
and we rode every one of them to its end.
Each station was a burned-out lantern.
I want to go home, you cried,
but even the ferries bobbing on the docks
had cancelled their passages.
We sat in the dark eating crusts of stale bread.
Come with me, I said.
We stumbled beneath the starless night.
We climbed the vacant streets.
From the crown of the bald,
illuminated hill, the city’s windows
dazzled. A flock of geese
scissored over smoke.
Back home, my television
blinked and snowed.