But Who Does?

From the collection And Don’t Come Back, 2021.

But Who Does?

The woman did not say to me:

I don’t KNOW what HAPPENED
but the CALL was

She said it to her friend as
they walked past me
they walked away from me
they had nothing to do with me at all.

the sense of the stream of words
fragmented with each step until
nothing but sound and no sense is left to me

the bystander by chance
the eavesdropper by proximity
and pulled along with the current by my own choice.

I strain to hear more

the only landmarks I grasp
my ears catch at these last islands
before they too are carried out of range
the words



and this last one
said louder thus
larger and more resistant to submersion