I am a cupbearer, offering my better half her morning
mug of coffee. She asks, Why is your face sad today?
I cannot take all of her in.
Last week, my brothers came, sharing news and stories,
shouting sometimes in a good-natured way. I wore
a white shirt and black shoes polished to a mirror shine.
Our camaraderie burgeoned into bouts of drunken
weeping, a mournful variety of awe, a powerlessness
we could not defend against with words.
I’ve not slept for three days now. Going out at night,
alone, I give myself permission to prowl. I feel lighter
walking by a row of empty houses, plywood sheets nailed
over ground floor windows. There is graffiti sprayed
across the boards; one stack of lurid letters reads—
Drawn by the clink-clank of hammers striking iron,
I climb a wall at the top of an embankment and look
toward a forest of lamps,
where a gang of workers in florescent yellow vests
are relaying a section of train track.
Their tools look like medieval weapons.
I applaud them, slapping my hands together
until they sting.