After all this fiery effort to turn the world tinder full the sky
decides on an appropriate grey and rains every chance it gets.

The blasted brown beds of the parched earth policy lawns gulp down
this beneficence but still we are too busy to remember to feed the finches.

These events have a bungled logic of their own or is it just a will
so base plate that you’re haunted by the sign that meant so much.

Except everywhere you look is the one person you will never ever never
see anywhere again which means that the one who was always there is not
anywhere not even among the family pictures everywhere on the walls so soon
to be always gone or the boxes and boxes of cards saved but never enough sent
and all the tools, furnishings, housewares, furniture of a lifetime what do we do
with that much less these feelings way too much to even believe — this
sodden earth sky and your birds, your birds, your disappeared finches.


James Van Looy has been a fixture in Boston’s poetry venues since the 1970s. He is a member of Cosmic Spelunker Theater and has run poetry workshops for Boston area homeless people at Pine Street Inn and St. Francis House since 1992. His work appears weekly in Oddball Magazine.