Casey Killingsworth

The half life of moons

You and your wife are fighting again
and just as you step into Round 3
the world slows down and then speeds up
like a gyre and as you glance inside it  
the argument begins to shrivel 
and you see your life within 
the thin circumference of its years,
and beyond that you see your 
young grandparents dancing to some 
battle song, and further back 
ancient soldiers shooting at the 
universal secret fear that the world 
was more than they could know,
back through wars fought with knuckles, 
entire villages of real people buried 
under layers of myths that could explain 
anything, and then you see, light years 
ahead, __________, indescribable 
in our languages, so far advanced
our descendants have found better ways 
than war to maim themselves. And yet, 
somehow, the world lives on, past you, 
past grandparents and soldiers 
and all future funerals, and you can’t 
even remember why you were fighting. 
Goddamn it. Goddamn it.
Why is that woman screaming?

What a dream is


Don’t try writing a poem on 
the graveyard shift, don’t try

to vote on the senate floor if
you’ve ever borrowed money

for rent from the guy next door 
whose name you do not know, 

don’t wear a tie with blisters
on your hands and don’t try
to pronounce elegant drink names 
when there are lawyers 

two barstools down, just don’t.