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other words were here once \ but now \ tucked under the left-handed stroke of an obsidian cloud there is only the faintest shadow of old sayings \ linguistic antiquity as it were \ and faced with the oncoming

we ran \ left windows open \ historical circumstances flooded a life \ or perhaps a car parked in \ the shade now home to thousands \ as if we were punctuation marks trying to avoid decimation \ and even so, shifting \ shadows fall into hammering rain \ the sky condenses \ morphs into hail \ understanding, like scalps, flattened \ rendered

unable to discern even the loudest of letters \ even ghosts emerging from the green lightning \ safety-lit caverns can no longer see the fading upright strokes \ cannot discern one history or life from another

in the winds \ word bits hang themselves from thin branches \ cling, smoke of the greasy dead \ petulant ghosts of lost meanings \ memory cuts its own throat with a stone blade in the absence of sense

what was once here may have been named Lethe \ but no one remembers

even the wildest of imaginations have vanished into a dark chaos \ forgetfulness \ amongst storm winds \ and tired murders \ once it passes

all that will be left is the sound of nearby dogs \ feral and without allegiance


Pearl Button lives in the Salishan Territories of western North America. She is published or forthcoming in a variety of journals including The Literary Cauldron, Posit, SurVision Magazine, Skink Beat Review, Impspired, Peculiar Mormyrid and Drunk Monkeys.

© 2021, Pearl Button

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