Denouement

Prayer flags heave like healthy lungs beneath a five colored sheet.
Wind is implied. Or breath. Healing. But definitely movement.

All the weightless things around us convulse into terrible
ghosted forms, then return to their tenacious dangling.

The world ages at the rate we expect it to.
We are not so fortunate

as cricket legs at dawn. Here is the dawn:
caked translucent light, war painted heavens

steadily retreating, bewildered impulse
to enter the house and leave the house

without opening a door. Here is the door;
it’s grown smaller than a child’s body

and fits our burning. It fits her body.
I shine a flashlight up

to where hours ago we misidentified the North Star.
Temporary light. False light. We’ve lost as much

in going as in her being
gone. Go, I whisper, though she doesn’t

seem to hear much anymore as the body hum
slows into earth. Breath weakens its search

for more of the same. On the porch between us stars
are implied. Or roots. Her shoes with just enough wind left

++++++++++++inside them.

John Sibley WilliamsJohn Sibley Williams is the author of eight collections, most recently Controlled Hallucinations (FutureCycle Press, 2013). Four-time Pushcart nominee, he is the winner of the HEART Poetry Award and has been a finalist for the Rumi, Best of the Net, and The Pinch Poetry Prizes. John serves as editor of The Inflectionist Review and Board Member of the Friends of William Stafford. Publishing credits include American Literary Review, Third Coast, Nimrod International Journal, Rio Grande Review, Inkwell, Cider Press Review, Bryant Literary Review, Cream City Review, RHINO, and various anthologies. He lives in Portland, Oregon.