Second law

Who was warned about these things:

the neverhush, the maddening chafe

sliding down a reddened bridge, print

disappearing               disappearing?


Who was told how to brook it?

The houndstooth stench of olding.

That time just runs itself out. That

we Sisyphus ourselves to glasses,

hobble wreckage down stair

after bricky stair.


That once we leave home — its gaseous

oven — that once we walk the same slow

steps as our hide-and-seek sun that

once we face our anti-lovers’ anti-gaze:

bright, open, later, now eyes smoldered

coats swept open to flash our own

scarred bellies our own hot hands

ablaze with spent matches with burnt-out

love —


Remember love?


How it loosed its jaw to our kisses?

How it unhinged us? How it tried us

like so many keys like so many rusted

locks? How it missed its target despite its

kicking? How maybe its force could kill us?


Without it what’s left day after day

to trundle our legs? What’s left to push

breath ragged and torn from our lungs?


Who was warned

how these solar winds would leave us

brown and bruised as apples over-

-ripe host and blowsy          seed dis-

appearing                disappearing?


Were you?


Me too.


1 comments have been posted.

She trusts me, the reader, to understand even a fraction of this poem. Is there redemption for such massive abuse? How do you fractionate solar winds? When the laboratory is obsolete? How do we learn to love each other come what will?

David Prescott Thompson | November 2022 | Portland

Also in this Issue

From the Director: Lizkor

Editor's Note

Second law

The River Oblivion

Mëshatàm Lënapehòkink: I remember the land of the Lenape

Here Lies

Adaptation and Appreciation

Telling Our Story

The Act of Remembering

A Winner Every Time


Discussion Questions and Further Reading: Memory

People, Places, Things