Two Poems

Aaron Fagan



After the fire dies

Down, we go our

Separate ways alone,

Into the dawn—

Caroline will take

Her life next month

After a woman stabs

Her in the brain

With a knife outside

The Rite-Aid a week

From now—although

We know these times

Bracket all we have

Left unsaid, steam

Rising from our bodies

With old ideas that

Have nothing to do

With what we mean.


It was very cold today. Now captive audience

To the truth of an amoral world, poetry proves

Its weakness as a legal system—its discrepancies

Lead to and deal in the inevitabilities of chaos

And disproportion with invented confessions.

Working C-shift, on lunch break, I check

The security cameras at home from my phone.

You have climbed out of bed and snuck down,

In your Transformers and Decepticons pajamas,

To sit at the piano. Your eyes glow in the dark

Room like a raccoon. You lift the fall and begin.

I zoom in and turn up the volume to attend

The concert you’ve made of  snow passing

Through flood lights blazing on the back porch.

Aaron Fagan is the author of Garage (Salt, 2007), Echo Train (Salt, 2010), and A Better Place Is Hard to Find (The Song Cave, 2020).


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