May 1990

Casey Moir

There is that sound like the wind

when you close your eyes extra-extra tight,

and imagine the nightmares

will go away when you fall asleep this time.

Perhaps, the first girl your best friend raped

screamed—until her voice

simply echoed through the freezing air,

sighing in raspy desperation.

Your father's last breath must

have hung in the room

the same way, heavy and angry,

until there was nothing left.

It was 12 degrees as you left the hospital,

and the whispering

noise of your coat reminded you

that the gun in your pocket

would be keeping you safe.

The ambulance sirens used to make

you remember that someone was being saved,

even if only for a small moment

in which to say 'I love you'.

You used to look at them, and smile.