That autumn morning he awoke to the crying
of lost souls that quickly changed to the roar
of leaf blowers up and down the street
These are the first days of fall. The wind
at evening smells of roads still to be traveled,
while the sound of leaves blowing across the lawns
is like an unsettled feeling in the blood,
the desire to get in a car and just keep driving.
What he wished was to have his ashes flushed
down the ladies’ room toilet of Syracuse City Hall,
which would so clog the pipes that the resulting
blast of glutinous broth would douse the place clean
After that, he spots
specks of lint, dust motes that grow with his attention
so huge they change into solar systems with planets
where he might see cities, rooftops and, who knows,
even a man mowing a his lawn, if he had the time.
Wasn’t it beneath this spot the son of Kronos
pursued his inamorata, holding out a handful
of shining seeds?
All stories, as they reach their end, are sad.
The rain comes; the night falls; Malone dies alone.
He ponders composing an ode
to his long time sidekick Death, but as his
own departure draws near their friendship
has grown problematic.
To neither did I say how much
I loved them, nor express the extent of my fear.
Their bodies are delicate glass boxes
at which the world begins to fling its stones.
He is gone now, the blind man, tidily dressed
in a suit of dust, with a dusty tie and dark glasses,
who played the clarinet on Paseo Huerfanos,
the paseo of the orphanage…
And he had imagined sitting in the evening
with his friend the Devil watching the small
human creatures frolic in the grass. They would
be like children, good natured and always singing.
When had he realized his mistake?