Two Poems

Deserter’s Information Center

The flags on Main Street say

you are one, are you one of us?
They hang in the exhalation
of three thousand people sleeping,
breathing deeply, eyes whirring,
coding messages, shedding messages,
the night before a parade.
Coyotes are lying down in their dens.
The nest of phoebes has not yet woken;
the half of each bird’s brain that sleeps,
remains sleeping. Corn repeats itself
into a haze of tassels and sheaving leaves.
Autumn sharpens its knives.
No more movies hung on sheets
in the park, in the school parking lot,
until next year. Next year.
Your children will become unrecognizable.
They will love a picture of you
more than you every time you speak.
The smell in the hall will migrate
back and forth between memories,
behind doors: substitute ghost
once again waiting, once again come.

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