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The sky troubled me, raucous red
and orange, wounded with gray.
Between the sky and me, a hill.
On the left, pine trees along the crest,
sullen, heavy. To the right,
bare branches, like veins on hot flesh.
I am not sure why, looking at all that,
I remembered an old friend.
I seldom think of him.
A former friend, I mean.
We were estranged, and also
he died, still young, long ago.
When we were close, one night,
drunk, I wanted him to talk to me.
He was upstairs. He didn’t come.
I pounded my fist against hard glass,
one window and another,
ugly din, bruising myself.
Two years later, he was much less to me,
but still, I dreamed I was off-course
in the basement stench of a rambling
discarded house, and I was
dazed, vertiginous. I needed him.
Sooty rooms echoed
as I called him again and again.
I woke up still hearing his name.
copyright 2015 Fred Maus