When I left this place, this place took my ankles,
my body, wrested the baubles from their joints,
the trinkets, bricks and cinderblocks and swallowed
them like the middens of a once great house.
Thus far, the excavations are incomplete:
garlands, teacups, a few folding chairs.
When the roof caved in, the tables were set
for weddings or funerals, endings all
the same. Some rites go undisturbed, the squeal
of a door through which the sea floods out, or
a thousand pigeons flung from a mouth, or
panning through silt for the shell of a man,
who, for want of a love, flew off to a cloud
or a wintering bush or some such fancy.
These Winter Nights
One gets used to it, the cold,
how brittle things are; how the nights
unfold, blacker than black, the fumes
of us carried off to some softer clime
—and the stars, so close.
One gets used to it, the stars so close
and how paltry it is to wrest
from them some future Spring
when all that huddles on the ridgeline
glistens: small, frail and far.
And on these savage nights
with the stars so close, with a breath
that burns in an air that breaks, I think,
how far I’ve come, how far indeed
to be humbled—how desperately far.
Devon Brock is a line cook living in South Dakota with his wife and dog. His poems have appeared journals such as Atlanta Review, La Piccioletta Barca, Spank, and West Trade Journal.blog