"This is not a book to be tossed aside lightly. It should be thrown with great force." - Dorothy Parker

his words burned tiny holes into the sky

and just as evening gave into the night
by dusk dissolving            moonlight flooded streets
until the lamps were useless, pale and child-
            ren danced like stars upon the dying lawns
the man knew he'd created this exchange
and smiled            he smiled inside himself for he
            had lived alone, existed in the mom-
ents in between the spoken words and sighs

as children laughed his bones dissolved to dust
and fell upon and through the wooden slats
of flooring            no one saw his face or knew
            his name for he was closer than a man
should ever be to         god            and sunlight failed
the town and people constantly until

he prayed the prayers of men already dead
the prayers that live in whispers on the leaves

the moon shone cool and crisp upon their danc-
            ing feet, and eyes were twinkling at the sight
of heaven's shooting stars that showered down
into their dreams the summer's heat had left
them lazy, hopeless            bedtime was a re-
            fuge            linens cool and crisp, inviting legs
and arms to spread and fly            snow angels sleep-
ing make the sound of butterflies in flight

alone he never heard the laughs and gig-
            gles of the innocent            he spent himself
on prayers and fell into the echoes of
the saints who sang and praised his life               his death
their highest note reached earth illumina-
            ting like the moon          and spelled his name in stars

Emily Belzer