Late Flight Out of Charlotte
by K. E. Duffin
Spangled like a conquistador’s wooden chest,
black as a Permian altiplano, or a sea
where porpoises of darkness, chittering, crest
against the wind’s lucid buffoonery,
these are the cities of night, their fulgent morphine
sprawled indelibly on slopes below, neurons
purged of forgetfulness, veils for a queen,
charcoal fields where rampant flares burn on
soundlessly, fed by the air of loss,
sealed off from us like a molten cameo page.
These are the maps shadows will cut across
when sky, blue-eyed in her skull-cap of age,
awakens to pity the wandering ones
who descend from altitudes, having visited none
of those cinch-waisted, barnacled islands drawn
by Euclid in the slow voyage toward dawn.
Copyright © 2017 by K. E. Duffin.