"Picture Worth 500 Words"

image Arlene Ang
After the Fire

Joe went blind. He quit smoking.
The gauze over his eyes were black to him.
His wife never made it. Voices
prickled his burns, sucked his scabs.
He called them hummingbats. Before the fire,
he had built nectar feeders
in the garden to attract birds. He liked
watching them behind a glass.
He never meant to get drunk.
Never realized he'd never come out
of the smoke. He wanted to say he was sorry.
Instead he told another one
of his light bulb jokes to an audience
that wasn't exactly there.

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