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Joseph Young


We’d set off the rockets, there in the 4th of August. I pulled back on the wicks and was gone. Then I was alone, tool tumbled, fall from ladders. You left me there, oh surfeit of light.

I kept to the west shores. I had to. Did you believe we had time aboard? Yes, the hands always in themselves and God in the windows. That and the true work of engines.

At the rims things fell apart. I took on gas. The fins were broken. In suit, I sat at control, ready for the coming stones. We steadied then and saw the angels.

The mission had always been simple: leave that terrible home. Amidst the rock and shore, I wrote you. Can you remember, the fire and your yellow hair?

The doldrums of the 6th ward, I was adrift. Echoes of an ugly god. The empty shone against the skin, lapped upon the eye.

With nothing to do, I shall be released. You won’t find me, not in rocket or shell, shore nor ward. See these banks of greater sky, oh surfeit of life.