First a cat howled outside, as if she were being pierced

to a cruel death with prongs, then the regular owl circled above,

scribing that rusty voice among oaks and sycamores

and then a siren

fell out of the dark city and bled past,

an agony punctuating life and death, love and hate,

crawling slowly by, out of reach.


If only I were a madman, I thought, then all this noise

would speak. On the contrary I observe it all coldly.


Despite everything, I earn a few meals, a bed.


There’s a blurred throb behind what’s visible;

I can feel and hear it, especially in the present silence.

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Rose Garden:

Rose Garden by Karen Kaback
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