Convocation

By James Lineberger

Featured art: Hot air balloon by James Nisbet & Co.

Perhaps you’ll find it strange
you no longer appear in my dreams,
but on the other hand
it may serve
to fuel your belief that I never loved you
at all, that we were little
more than a scattering of pixels
in the ether,
the kind of momentary disturbance
a thrush will make
stabbing its bill into the leaves
and tossing them
about in search of food, shaking its head
to clear away the debris
and take whatever sustenance the god of thrushes
has promised
before the world settles back again,
asleep in the wake of a need
more primal than heaven and hell;
yet even when I think of us in that sense, as only
the leftovers at some Olympian event where we were not guests,
but mere canapés, nibbled at
and tossed aside,
left in the dead grass for worms to eat,
still it seems that even
birds and grubs, yea, our very comminuted dust, are cursed
with the memory
of a time when nothing could ever
go wrong,
and we knew all the words to every song.


James Lineberger wrote the book and lyrics for the first “American rock opera,” The Survival of Saint Joan. His screen adaptation for the Devery Freeman novel Father Sky was filmed by Twentieth Century Fox as Taps. His poetry has appeared in Prairie Schooner, Berkeley Poetry Review, Verdad, Boulevard, Hanging Loose, New York Quarterly, Oxford Magazine, Sonora Review, Seneca Review, Texas Review, and Verse.

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