Justin Sherwood



Terrorism requires a kind of whimsy,
a blast to mark the space preceding failure—

like leaving for the party without a hat:
a half-drawn border, a bald head, a paradigm

shifting backward to fit the groove.
We arrive in time to find our invitation.

Now we are here do something spectacular.
Mark our manners, the precision in our pleats,

the trains that run on time until the last.



Having improvised a past, I meet
my present certainties in debt.

Where two or more are gathered, nameless,
call this shame. Cosmic insignificance,

what’s your sign? Compatibility is myth,
so is myth. We tell each other stories,

are made of them. Not so delicate
as embrace but equal. You come

when I call and it’s enough,
communal and shaped toward the possible.

Shaped through collaboration. No two hands
fit together. Snowflakes in summer.



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