Newspoem 20 June 1999

Disappearing Cities


they were fish in danger dumped in a new aquarium
when at last the sharks were netted
the fish jumped

the highways were jammed
the military directed traffic
east by day west by night

the war was ending
very little had been saved
in their cities water electricity
were in indefinite disrepair

they returned but their lives weren’t there
their family estates had been
wrecked ransacked vandalized burned
gutted ruined and desecrated
with upsetting graffiti shattered
dishes and a urine stench

they returned and their friends were
absent missing erased unlisted
the mass graves a media spectacle

they tried but they didn’t
return at all
they were unable
past and present had been severed

the circle center had been
extracted and was empty
the felled tree was ancient
and its inner rings had been
carved away



Newspoetry at Spineless Books