Before I banished the poets, who whisper
about reflections of things – lovers and lakes,
cold rain, and rough breath rising
in prairie towns, or fathers returning
in dreams, before that I banned the birds
for their restlessness, and the ache
they leave in our chests.
How quiet mornings became as we slept
into the blur of day.
Nothing could tempt us beyond the sky.
I banished the ones who crouch low,
keepers of secrets buried in earth and caves.
I banished locks, and everything
had to be open and made of glass.
I banished memories, so no one
could recall sliding into second base
tearing jeans and flesh,
or how it felt to walk the beach in August
twenty years ago, with the scent of salt
mingling with frying meat, and sand clinging to wet legs.
I let the sun remain to burn our minds away,
leaving nothing but the taste of evening
as it settled, a violet mist pulling us into the vacuum of night.