What is the use of poetry and paint
when the brightest names wash clean by first rain
and walls forget alike those who’ve died and lived beside them?
Each breath is a war story
recalled in letters and photos, another’s memories,
crammed in basement cigar boxes and wept over
when rain leaves us empty and famished
with an aching sense of place, continuity,
and a need to take it all in.
Initials I’ve long ago proclaimed to love
pass timidly, a leaf anonymously lost to Autumn,
and six million times I’ve asked who tomorrow
will proclaim me their heart, my blood theirs,
who with a trembling fixation
will worship such advertisements, like me,
shouting I am here, not was, not was!
without the sense to keep voice in themselves
and blossom into an authorless poem,
butterfly, or something else rain can’t remove