When I Walk out of this World

When I Walk out of this World

The blindness comes in the afternoon

At night when the wheat and eels sleep

It comes in the morning and the walls go deaf

No one hears the ringing of the bells

There are no bells and

there is no one there

No ear, no tongue, nothing to taste

water or salt or cold, ringing air


Blindness comes in the afternoon

When I bow my head

and walk out of this world


Dog growls, rain falls, the sun whirls

into wreckage in the afternoon

Across the walls of sleeping rooms

a frightened captive plunging fire

ignites a carpet of dust

The little ones wait for dinner

but it will not come


There is an orange odor here

Brittle, febrile

Rich as dung

Sharp as a glancing blow

But no one comes to gather it up

There is no arrival

This afternoon there is no letter

and no song at dusk

and no one waits at the dimming gate

We’ve all forgotten


Blindness comes in the afternoon


Without warning

When I bow my head

and walk out of this world


The arc of stars and

that horizon always running away

Planets pulse, ripe and dripping

So much iron and phosphor

So much lemon and wood

There’s feasting tonight

In towns other than this one


Put on your shoes

You don’t want to die like this

with the rats skittering over you


I would go with you

this afternoon

to the place where you get the water

I would sing you a last song

if it were not already too late




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