Rochelle Nameroff
The Accident

Down below the trailerpark, the lights
still flash the warning, off-on-off-on,
one siren stuck in its slow motion scream.
Rusted-out Buicks on blocks of rotting wood
wait in a romance of despair for a lover
like me.  And I am standing

off to one side like a shadow
chained to its object.  A watcher
might read my petulance for desire,
that slightly puffy wish about my lips,
and the odor of melancholy
rising from the corners of my mouth

like mildew from some shoved-away sheets.
Darkness, will you ever come back?  I am here
classifying experience into segments
of death.  Shall I begin with myself
or with the sadness underneath the truck,
a body smashed to bewilderment?

There's a brown shoe tucked in the gravel,
wanting to go to sleep.  And another, loyal,
returned to the business of objects,
to save the mind from its glare.
Lampshade, nightshade, dread halo—
What do we see in this

stammer of light we call personal?