Oyster Boy Review 02  
  March 1995
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» Levee 67


In Pieces

Joe Bolton

Outside, the crickets syncopate as if
Searching for each other. The streetlight lends
A mellow golden cast to everything,
And the shouts of young people fade away
In the rumblings of engines which also
Fade away.

And stationed by this window,
I know I won't sleep again tonight.
I've done this long enough now to believe
That if I turn away now all will be lost.

Movies in pieces running through my head
Don't help. The stars don't help—they aren't there
Tonight. And if I drove, where would I drive?
From the beginning I was both necessary
And beside the point, the kid always
The kid, whom you'd overlook completely,
Did he not break your heart.

Somewhere not more
Than a block from here, a woman writhing in the sweat
Of her body tries to dream herself out.
What morning forgives, the night will not let go;
The story never changes, never ends.

And what's left us in pieces all these years
Continues. We've come to love it the way
The tortured, in the religion of their pain,
Become their own tormentors and start to think:

How could it be otherwise?