Neutral Mice (or Suicides Light As Air)

 Adam Turl,  Medusa of Old Town Liquors  (2015), detail

Adam Turl, Medusa of Old Town Liquors (2015), detail

1.

a bird built a nest
in my grandfather’s
up-turned welding goggles

 the day after
he died 

I never told
my grandmother
this, but

the dead
are dead
and the living
are dead 

and
by August
the nest
was empty 

2.

more empty houses
than homeless
more grocery stores
than hungry
more traffic
than air 

but,
a hero’s love
dying on you
like leaves 

3.

so,
the knife of you
grinning
through the gaps
in your teeth
is sharp enough
to cut origami stars
from the dark
and heavy
fell in love
moon 

4.

there is a peacekeeper
among us
some armed guerrilla
can/does
play revolt
on hundreds of wrecked
pianos 

in a nation
that is wearing
murder 

in a cemetery
of children
pecked by birds 

5.

we can not escape
wheels of war
or this blooming hour
of neutral
tiptoeing
mice 

suicides
light as air
far away


Mike Linaweaver is a poet and founding editor at Strike Magazine in Corpus Christi, Texas.