By Fabrice Poussin

Now That They Are Gone

It’s not that they died
that those tender eyes rot in the dirt
after tears were shed to fill their graves.

It’s not that they rest
amidst concrete stones ice in winter
steaming with eerie ghosts in balmy summer nights.

It’s not only that we miss their grins
the smiles, giggles, and laughter upon jolly soirées
the smoke they blew from their pipes in infinite wisdoms.

It’s Albert with his unkempt hair
sauntering the gothic arches of his last home
while Jack would return home to The Kilns alone.

They lived under uncanny likenesses
image of what all these giants have been
in times and places with little in common.

Now that they are gone
it is their gentle wisdom we miss
abysses left behind for our hearts to cry.

Now we must stumble onto the path to the end
without their guiding thoughts
souls heavy with an unfathomable emptiness.


I imagine it is bliss to walk with one’s head in the clouds
looking through the window of a giant steel bird
and question that everything is an invention.

There was a time we were told man walked on a certain moon
or was it a pipe dream of some incompetent bureaucrat
when the photos showed illogical shadows?

A lady on the street said of course this glove is flat
sadly, we are not allowed to travel to the other side
how much I wish to see an image of that other world.

She knows that none of those photographs from Hubble are true
but artists’ renditions of what they may in fact be
and planes do circle the planet as if it were a dinner plate.

Nothing is true any longer in this maddening realm
it seems fantastic tales of the ignorant masses
make those dear souls feel like emperors.

The teacher is left to ponder the future 
of a humanity complacent in the dark lies
the need to remain in this soulless crowd. 


At the confluent of a meandering lobe
under the warm aroma of a noble soul
as if a mirage in the fertile oasis
of another secretive Sahara he sleeps.

Beneath this ardent fire waves rise
they glow with the amber of soft fibers
a sea pondering the next hurricane
opportune domain for the creative star.

In sole imagination his mind travels
unraveling the curve of the statue
moved by the tremble of anticipation
held in a haven yet unattained.

A breath almost unperceivable 
drinks the essence of the nape
life boils below the pearly shroud
though suspended yet in its intimacy.  

To the last

He felt like it was time to throw in the towel again
ambling in the brightness of a gleeful August 
the melting mercury his only companion. 

Then a soft cry emerged from the hedge
revealing the crushing weight of fear 
within the meek heart of the newborn fawn.

She had been sitting by her beloved sea
lost between the heavy autumn rains
and the rolling thunder her ancient comfort.

Wrapped in her thickening blanket of sorrow
she began to walk to the growling waves
when she caught a glance of a lifeguard.

The image long lost of the terrified couple
as the child gasped for a first breath
spitting the salt which almost took her life. 

I too brave each day under heavy clouds
as I venture to the dark cabin
a simple home where no one ever wonders.

Will I return to prepare a fancy feast
light the fire to heat fragile hearts
embrace the lover too ill to join the crowds. 

Six shots in a barrel cold steel of a beautiful machine
made with the care and passion of an artisan 
such a simple choice to quit the icy walls.

Yet there is another, even in despair
less fortunate than all have been
who suffered until the final agony? 

He might have smiled upon a last moment
miserable he never let go of a thin hope
for he fulfilled the destiny traced for him. 

Thus, I raise my eye to the infinite
and contemplate his joyless hours as yet
It is for me to live and not die that he smiled.

Unexpected Joy

They command to fear the unknown dressed in dirt 
and stench. Where, after all, did it come from?

Harmless the form hovers above their world
a threat to the comfort they structure with self-righteousness.

No one knows whether it has a sense of self
haunting the avenues of the good as it does.

It once fell ill on the side of a makeshift mountain
technological marvel made for steel carriages.

Suddenly object of fame for the gruesome excuse
it was surrounded by sirens, screams, and smart phones.

The apparition was missed for unusual days
had he moved on to realms beyond this life?

Perhaps it hoped to so find joy with the departed
hopes chattered as again he must walk the greens.

To see him again begging for a second’s attention
cruel to the slender frame maybe he suffers yet.

It is good to see that he has another chance
at living; is it selfish to find unexpected glee in his pain?

Fabrice Poussin teaches French and English at Shorter University. Author of novels and poetry, his work has appeared in Kestrel, Symposium, The Chimes, and many other magazines. His photography has been published in The Front Porch Review, the San Pedro River Review as well as other publications.  

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