portion of the artwork for Donavon Davidson's poetry

The Broom Closet
Donavon Davidson

In the bureau of internal affairs
a secretary is busy with mostly paperwork.
While in the local lockup, the job
is mostly waiting.

Pick any road out of here
and occasionally a farmhouse
nestled under a large tree,
surrounded by acres of fallow fields
still has a housewife
taking on the old men in corners
or swatting a little black cat
that’s gotten into the morning milk.

I could hear the aching in their bones
from being ridden by witches all night.
But I often mistook the fall
of their distant empires
as a ball of dust teetering
between the bed and the long hallway
where at the end is a small room
where my coat hangs
concerned with the weight of its own emptiness.
The judicial robe of my executioner.

The looks we exchange
are ones of familiarity
of a time before we outgrew
our use for each other.

The world was flat then.
History fell on the rich and poor
with the even precision
of a stopped watch
or an unopened book.

Back then, it was my only defense
against dying, to sweep side to side
like a schoolboy unable to make up his mind,
a drunk on a Sunday afternoon.

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FRiGG: A Magazine of Fiction and Poetry | Issue 39 | Winter 2013