As the Crow Flies

Justin Bond

by Justin Bond

Carl, as we drove through the Ozarks
I watched the mist ghosting down the ridge and wondered
if I would live long enough to see all those trees
taken down, and I am afraid the answer is yes.

We were only a few miles from where the police
killed that boy, and it struck me like a strap across the back
that I might have to explain which one, how some small
menace could crack the guilty façade of our own city
and history recycle itself filthy as poisoned ground water.

I’m not sure what it means that we never have these conversations,
the messy discussions where one misplaced opinion
can change the way you see a person sure as the sharp end of a paring knife,
but I know that while we are born to a litany of possible dooms,
the sun still rises and sets and in between stretch
long days we must try to live through and consider what has been
given us and what is left for us to choose.

Carl, I want to know why some men are born
with a need to fill or empty all the spaces,
but never the capacity to leave things as they found them.

Carl, I want to know why all this fucking and still
no baby, just softened middles and thinning hair,
the bodies of two men pressing up against oblivion.


Justin Bond’s work has appeared most recently in Lost In Thought and OCHO: A Journal of Queer Arts, with new work forthcoming in Heavy Feather Review and The No BS Review. His chapbook, Going Native, was released by Red Bird Chapbooks in Spring 2014. A contributing editor for The Found Poetry Review, he lives and works in Tulsa.