Seat of Empire

by Howie Good


Habitues of starving times gathered for their annual convention. The town hall clock struck six. Day or night? you asked. We entered alone, we left together. There were no faces in the windows, only the junk man with the red pimpled nose noisily rolling his cart through the blackened ruins of broken sleep.


A boy in rough wool pants tramped through the forest, a small sack slung over his shoulder. The cries of flightless birds echoed down the corridors. Here there was no why. Inside the sack, the imperially ornate heart of an itinerant angel merely bled.


We passed the burned-over district in single file, the right hand of each on the right shoulder of the man before him. The vagrants who used to sell flowers on the side of the road were gone. Sleep was impossible, but I kept my eyes closed until a voice said we could open them. It was still dark when I did.

BIO: Howie Good, a journalism professor at SUNY New Paltz, is the author of five poetry collections, most recently Dreaming in Red from Right Hand Pointing and Cryptic Endearments from Knives Forks & Spoons Press. He has four chapbooks forthcoming: Elephant Gun from Dog on a Chain Press, The Death of Me from Pig Ear Press, Living Is the Spin Cycle from Red Bird Chapbooks, and Strange Roads from Puddle of Sky Press.