It's Nothing, Really


                                        What is it then?

dried milk on a floor
dust on a pantry shelf
stain on a wall
moldy flower
broken glass
a sign that says condemned
mattress on a back yard junk pile

buttons never fastened
blinds always closed
broken chair

something that cooled ten million years ago
something at the end of a worked out mine
eyes of those women in the photo outside the showers

a private's command in the ear of a captured housewife
broken headstones. the sound a club makes. foam on a mouth
the sound the snow makes when the hunters have gone
silent child

what hooks pull from a snag
it carries no identification and cannot be recognized
whatever it is it is floating in scum

a corpse overlooked from an unimportant battle
dogs turn away from its odor

it puffs unseen from the work of engines

what we are



Tom Koontz, An Ordinary World.