Beyond the Final Chapter

Books form cliffs. We fall
into wanton characters’ arms.

Nothing holds us. Just whispers. Whims.
Each page turn, turns us into someone

dissolute. The author tells us we carry
a nest of laundry. We finger undone buttons.

I found the unexpected villain at the end.
A valley with trees tumbling down the sides. A gate

ruined. A gauntlet of afternoon light, a woolly ruff of heat,
stone-faced cats and rusty bikes.

When he came to me, I followed him, through
murmuring air, the wet suck of summer.

Now I wish for turbulence—disturbing, 
evocative. It rattles in the gravel

a broken tube of nickels.

Asheville Poetry Journal
December 2017