By Fabrice Poussin

Alley Cat

I have heard of those great pachyderms
 finding their way home in the dark
 a great resting place for their kind.

 I saw the little girl cry on the curb
 Mr. Mumps the kitty was lost once more
 but this time it was different.

 They say the domestic feline can tell
 when it is time to head to celestial dens
 so they go off never to return.

 Grandpa buried his great shepherd
 his fifth in so many lonely years
 perhaps it was King or Thor.

 I wonder how many men follow a path
 on the lost backstreets of abandoned cities
 to curl up in a ball and wait for salvation.

 Alone with a bag of rags and the stench of grease
 long widowed, divorced or orphaned
 they too die forlorn with no name.

 It will be dark behind the trash bins
 wet and frigid with the last acid rains
 when one of many will breathe his last.

 No one will know, fewer will cry as
 next to the alley cat fallen to hoodlums seeking a thrill
 the man once a little boy dies with a shiver.

Half Past Eternity

It may have been past a millennium
 in a space where time was futile.

 A spec in the vast darkness or perhaps
 a galaxy swirling through the unknown.

 Alive it moved with the grace of a ballerina
 wearing stars for its only adornment.

 It thought in a way mysterious to this realm
 yet it sought the matter to seal eternity.

 On its quest for a most common dream
 fully aware of what was written.

 Upon a blue world it became just like them
 to sit in wait of what had been foretold.

 A strange miracle shared by another
 born to a race so unfamiliar.

 There on the corner of a coffee shop
 contact and an eternal journey to pursue.

 Fatal to the flesh foreign to the visitor’s
 to save her it was to take her away.

 Energy never created and not to vanish
 it took her in and made her part of it.

 Now they travel an unlikely odyssey
 without reason only true to the cosmos.

Masquerade

It might be terror beneath the fainted masks
 for those mobs in search of another moment.

 Perhaps they grin in mockery below
 makeshift bullet proof suits.

 I wonder if they cry within the flesh
 as they race to another decaying quest.

 What suffering lies inside shrunken entrails
 where hearts float without anchorage.

 Multitudes wander lost in their cities
 bumping into invisible walls.

 Their faces pale as if yet departed
 bluish veins scar sunken cheeks.

 Corpses before they know their fates
 so futile the daily chores.

 Thin as tulle the cloth dissipates
 upon the same specter of death.

Sacred Boneyard

Looking for parts to upgrade old chassis
 hand in hand they stroll in search of a miracle.

 A crow recites the song of his forefathers
 perched on the trusted rust of yesteryear.

 Strange lovers alien to prettier days
 they stare at a would-be sun beyond the storm.

 Wearing patches of ongoing hopes they dream
 worn out bones unwillingly playing a melody.

 Like the old Model T they once drove to the ocean
 they fancy a renewal promised on futuristic billboards.

 New limbs, a little used perhaps, but never broken
 organs made for the universal soldier.

 Their shoulders touch to the melting spot
 grown like conjoined Siamese legends.

 They still imagine the sunset of their parents
 when still sitting on the porch of endless possibilities.

 Hand in hand, they stumble between the rows of cadavers
 pressing upon their path into a thicker darkness.

 No hearts to be found here, nor any new fantasies
 just the eerie sounds of agonizing carcasses.

 Not a word is said between those two legends
 their lives finished under a reddish realm.

 One more step and it is done as if they had never been
 a weak aura remains of those ancient silhouettes.

 Soon others will follow the road already taken
 enticed by the gentle pull a forgotten old couple.

The Handle Upon a Gate

Shaken in his core by a strange sight
 sizing the childish shapes all around
 he stared at the handle upon a door.

 No longer was it time to kick a can
 running without aim to the next playground
 the moment for courage had come at last.

 Fallen to dreams in the shape of a boy
 now he was to become another warrior
 if only he could march forward.

 Shedding the flake of a queen’s chrysalis
 it was his turn to walk through the gate
 his hand upon the rusty lock.

 He trembled as he rose a man
 pushed by a presence so constant
 to pass the sill finally to enter another realm.


Fabrice Poussin teaches French and English at Shorter University. Author of novels and poetry, his work has appeared in Kestrel, Symposium, The Chimes, and many other magazines. His photography has been published in The Front Porch Review, the San Pedro River Review as well as other publications. 

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