Matt Sadler
New Year’s Pig
 
 
 My joy is a sidewalk on the last small town parade
with the burning reds of changing Maples
 
and the brassy dopplar of a far off band
 
and the Shriners in their Devo hats and zippy
little cars.  If my world is tilted, this street
 
is its axis.  I didn’t come here for answers,
 
only to hear a chorus of sealed lips
humming Louie Louie! and The Final Countdown
and The Heat is On.  I didn’t come here
 
to feel joy so much as to give myself
 
away.  Sitting in my sagging Adirondack
under the blooming hub of a wire pole, I see
 
a solitary ant carrying the nachoed orange tip
of a Dorito to its own celebration.
 
If I close my eyes now I know I’ll miss out
on the next Miss Golden Rose but
 
there are so many other things I can see.
 
First, I’m in Coleraine next to the giant grasses
on the road to Portsrush.  Or I’m inside
 
the dark and seedy VFW on Pine, stuffing
 
hard boiled eggs one after another into
my parched gullet.  Or I’m in Detroit again,
 
on a different street, another axis, walking a route
I’d mastered through a summer of boredom.
 
After I imagine death as a symphony of leaves
scraping the road, I pass four hulking steam vents
topped by massive steel grey nipples and
 
beyond them I see two kids, you know
they are beautiful, throwing a ball through a milk crate,
 
the same ancient game forever.  They taunt me
 
from their stoop, the sunlight smashes me
off their smiling teeth.  One great man said
 
love your fate and ended in tears, apologizing
to a horse.  Can you see his ghost hovering
above the towns and fields and city streets?
 
Does he see me here, smiling back at the perfect
faces, forgiving my trespassers,
 
the unmistakable murmur of leaves
in the stiff wind, the sharp angles of architecture
 
breaking the soft curve of the horizon.
 
Those leaves are the people humming
around me, and if I open my eyes now I’ll see
 
dancing, even the most threadbare of toughs
 
bobbing their heads at least, even the pig
marching down the avenue toward its final
canvas tent, leashed by a heavy rope
 
to its captors, sticks its snout into the air
like us, curious, building itself into a moment,
 
loving every moment of the moment
and somehow stalling the future, slowing down
 
time, overcoming its fate.  




The Blue Glow of


The warm electric hum of tubes
heating inside the box
is gone, flattened by scientists, and

the blue glow of
last years hydrangeas, gone,

hijacked to purple by some
dissident acid.

The bombed out church in Berlin,
the shape still stands,
a reminder, but

the anguish I used to feel
is gone, obliterated by the wrecking ball of

new wife, new child; therefore
the drinking buddies gone, the cigarettes,

well, one burns still
under the moons watchful eye,
real and hot in my lungs.

I throw it into the street,
into the past, I tell myself,

sneaking back in
quickly and quietly when I’m done.