“How to Know If Your .89 is Real”: FOR Ways
You see your .11 years later
on the evening news. It is early fall.
Two beams of blue light rising.
Every station is airing the footage.
You shield your eyes and see
even your own hands are separate.
You push them together tighter
and your smallest fingers begin
to create crooked red towers.
There’s a photograph in a drawer
that’s clearly been taped together.
if you flipped it over to a closer look.
Closer than the two people standing there,
in shirts one only buys on the road,
looking into the camera wondering
how any and all of this ends and when.
What you held back: love–real love–
has been fashioned into walking sticks.
The tips of the sticks still smolder,
twin tendrils of smoke curl upward
from your having used them to signal
in any plane that might be circling.
They’ve been inscribed to read–
not left and right–
L is for Leaving
Reason I Roam.
Each click a kind of cadence
upon a brick path,
an affirmation to keep moving.
Left. . .you were right. . .to have left.
Paul W. Hankins (March 2015)