one side of
a conversation
with Absalom

andrew pace

grab your jacket, it may be cold
without a room attached
though this door opens either way
and swivels o
n a hinge that is not rusted
you could pose quickly
before we leave, shoulder against a wooden frame
there, head tilted down a bit
to expose a furrowed brow
now we can leave
wearing red shirts instead of black
we can say goodbye clean cheeked, ashless
no one has died
your shirt denotes nothing
you are young
we turn and walk
towards jerusalem with the empty hands
that gnaw at our scalps,
with satchels full of paper
the camels' hooves fall with their quick run
it is too early, yet-