People kept coming into my dead parents’ apartment to collect stuff. One took away some sort of boat. No one seemed to particularly care if cities were burning. A woman from down the hall started stroking my face. I asked her to stop. She wouldn’t. Her boyfriend was standing right next to her, but didn’t say anything, just watched. A week passed, maybe more. The news was unbearable. Gas grenades and rubber bullets. Chants of I can’t breathe, I can’t breathe. First responders climbed the stairs two at a time despite the terrible weight of the unshed tears they were carrying.
Hope Against Hope
I have seen this movie before,
I know how it ends, with troops in the streets,
and the charred bones of buildings,
so I turn from the ruthless images,
and, just as quietly as I can, lean
on the railing of the back deck
and wait for the gray fox to appear
from the dark tangled underbrush
into an evanescent strip of bright sunlight.
Howie Good is the author most recently of Stick Figure Opera: 99 100-word Prose Poems from Cajun Mutt Press. He co-edits the online journals Unbroken and UnLost.