Tears become breaks in the illusion,
a continuous procession
of their loosened impressions
in puddles, on wet sidewalks
where vigil candles
are seared reflections.
brothers and mothers
share in the mourning
embracing the fragile strings
entwined and loosened like balloons
designed to bring messages beyond
for those who died too young.
like hundreds of tiny spores
that lighten the atmosphere and
restore some color to the grey
anger and shades of despair.
Most towns have had their share of darkness,
comb through their history,
find some are enshrined to their tragedy,
a depository for its residual energy
coursing through the tiny webs
that connect lives to one another,
to families and to those who commit murder,
a buried trauma
creates an armor
around what remains unspoken
buried for decades in empty lots
forgotten and paved over.
In forests, the trees that witnessed evil deeds
weep for those who have fallen,
like tragic leaves, no one hears them,
the wind pulls them along
and steers them into the void.
In abandoned places, the last to remember
thaws these souls frozen in yearbooks.
Those who passed briefly
through towns and halls
become only whispers we barely recall,
wisps of remorse in the collective recourse of memory.
As the years wear on and take their contemporaries,
most become merely stones in a cemetery,
the chiseled bookends
of a larger story
that would always outlast this body.
Marred by past violence
you must seek it out
beyond the withered ends of its silence.
They are elsewhere, for those who collect
the tattered remnants of what they leave behind.
What sustains wayward energy if not recognition?
Like the flash of a match in a dark corner
gasps a name and they remain.
conscious if never fully whole
these faces stuck
to a telephone pole
where torn missing person signs
are left to weather
the indiscriminate wind.
By staples they are held together
or whatever is left
it is always the eyes that stare back,
branded on my empathy a deep longing
to give them form,
a burning that waxes in words
satiates the urge
to warm the ghostly reverb
that radiates endlessly from one psychic wound.
When the heavy rain finally passes,
who knows where the waters will go?
Who names what they return to?
Like the energy inherent in someone’s essence,
it remains even after it passes,
like the scent of wet ginger in the forgotten places.