The night moves by, withholding sleep.
And in the cloudless dawn
He sees the loaded gun pressed deep
Into the cobalt sky.
Its barrel, longer than the Rio Grande.
Its handle, thick as all the heat-forged
Iron in Detroit.
Even when authorities remove it, the imprint
Stays indented in the morning blue,
Embarrassing the busy sun on its way out
To pat and reassure the nervous afternoon.
“It’s over with,” the shadows say,
“Go on about your life.”
But the tabletop where his numb hands rest
– The tabletop where other, younger hands
Once bongo-ed restless rhythms –
Has as turned to ice.
Across that frozen lake, she looks away.
Looks away from him, looks away toward
The door, looks as though almost expecting,
Expecting still, her coffee cup a little tombstone
There between them.
Her smile is smoke; her hands are lead,
Her eyes deserted playgrounds in her head.
The stars are bursts of flashing fire tonight.
Bullets grow in that once-hopeful garden,
Choking out the roses that bloomed before
Beneath the clean and dentless azure.
“You loved me once,” he says.
“Love has bled out,” she says.
The dawn comes back and comes again.
The morning birds refuse to sing or fly.
And over all the tired world,
The clouds that gather
Still can’t cover
That reminder in the gun-case sky.
Bob Lind is a musician whose songs have been covered by more than 200 artists, including: Cher, Aretha Franklin, Eric Clapton, Marianne Faithful, Glen Campbell, Kingston Trio, Dolly Parton, and Nancy Sinatra. His lyrics have been taught in colleges and universities throughout the U.S. and Canada. He won the Florida Screenwriters Competition with his script Refuge. He won the Southern California Motion Picture Council’s Bronze Halo Award for his play The Sculptors. He also has poetry published in Iodine Poetry Journal. www.BobLind.com