A Limb In The Street

A limb on the guardrail.
Appears to be a leg. We can’t
quite grasp what we see
and drive on wondering

until the evening paper
tells the tale of the man
whose homemade bomb went off
as he was lifting it from his trunk

to plant it next to the strip joint
where he’d been burned in a 
shady deal, maybe drug related,
I don’t recall, so long ago now;

that past has slipped all the way
into this present, as it always does.
Now all I have of that is that
I saw it, and others saw it;

the bumper resting upon the median strip,
smell of burning flesh seeping into
the car — now I understand how
I recognized that smell in New York

the minute it hit me, the roast sweetness
mingled with sickness, and so the past again
comes back to present itself like a limb
in the street, something I’m not sure

I’m better for knowing, not all wisdom’s
good wisdom, some of it never goes
back into the past. Who exactly
is better for having seen

a limb, a burned limb, in their street?

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About Tony Brown

A poet with a history in slam, lots of publications; my personal poetry and a little bit of daily life and opinions. Read the page called "About..." for the details. View all posts by Tony Brown

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