by Robert L. Penick
The old man at the corner bus stop –
there without fail each morning at eight –
disappeared either two weeks or six months ago.
I’m not sure which.
Was 1987 the year I dated the girl
with the long auburn hair?
Perhaps it was 1986.
I was at the university, I know.
I remember the mole on her back
but not her birthday or eye color.
Things move away more quickly now
and fewer things take their place.
I walk around this city, peering
into faces empty and bloated
like drowning victims.
Last night I saw a bird fall
from a wire, wings unmoving
before it hit the street.
This poem appeared in Shō Number 2 (2003)