Existential Eclipse

Your mother lived
in the shadow of unraveling
they cut it out the absurd,
except for the fear,
and it spread to her children
darkening all their days
while they pretended
their small talk candles
could light the way.

Your father died
four years gone
blown out with the last hot breath
of late summer wind
now the hole in your family
can at least scab over at last
dying was the only thing
he ever saw through to its end.

One day you see the lie
has grown, swallowed sunlight.
In some possible worlds
the test comes out o.k.
even in those, in yours,
all meaning is being erased
and you don't know how
to teach your wife or daughter
to hold back the eclipsing dark
with lighted, wax-dripped talk.
Erik Richardson
In the Hopper

Nighthawks, certainly not owls,
neither of us is wise.
A poet in a diner with a painter
in a city of bridges and dumpsters
where the sky bleeds yellow
into the sheltering shadows.
She has managed to cut me again
"How can you just give away your poems?"
She sells herself for hamburgers.
We call it love.
Dan Smith