But Urijah Slept at the Door

But Urijah Slept at the Door
-by Brian Quinn


Before you’re even gone,
The skies open up their mouths and spit our ardent harmonies;
the sidewalks develop new cracks from which concrete shards erupt;
all windows stop reflecting the sun’s light.

My feet lose traction, causing a
fall that my hands catch;
breathing stops;
my eyes dry out while searching the cracks for what I missed:

…the point you were trying to make, of caffeine free.

…the mark in my last poem, in the gift I sent.

…the call to arms, to speak now, to hold my peace.

…the deadline for submission, for finding you free.

…the last call, the last train.

I shut out
The skies and,
In the day’s
Final beams of
Unreflected light, grope
Among the cracks
And concrete shards
For the chance
I know I
Won’t find but
Can’t risk missing.

I watch my own light seep out through these
labor stained hands now pricked with
opaque slivers: new beams that reflect
violently off the store windows on
either side of the street. People start to gather, a
yearning audience eager to join the skies’
obsessive harmony. And I nearly miss it:
under these lights, they’re singing your name.


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