The Division of Labor

The book opens, tangled
in misfortune. One walks
into this world having been silent
and suffering out the universe,

If bruises place damage, bodies are nothing
more than banned
books. Complete waste
of images.

The book opens
with an evacuation. My father
scrapes into next century, but barely.
His wife a wilted centerpiece. In this child
names of displaced factories:
Johnson. Rand. Hamilton-Brown.
The Gaslight district and then
Hwy 70 replaces blue steel
shoes for boys. Roadspread —

              St. Louis before it was
              nicknames. Mound City,
              razing people into rows



~ ~ ~



Not to compare you
to him, but compares
the two of you
to clouds of wasted fuel.

If we do something because we must
it is not for love, but then what
more wrenching force?

              Leather splitter. Lock-stitch.
              Forget the factories. Prevents us
                               from any real work.

And your writing is like floating rafts of white pine
and what piano key
sounds like bruising? The river is clogged
with progress, bolted stories
unable to hold but personal
viewpoints are always that — personal
and incomplete.

              When they come, the others or God,
              who will tell our story,
              explain the past,
              what ensued the day of?
              Who will be there to raise
              their right hand
              in front of all to judge?

Dot Devota (© 2009)