Studying a low light horizon,
a sunset road obsidian black,
I take a sip from the water bottle,
a swallow from an Old Crow pint.
I take the pavilion hill,
circle the reflecting pond,
the heroic rider monument.
Oaks emptying of leaves,
loose piles center on the sidewalk.
Time passes long.
This is a beginning.
New condo towers leer,
self-conscious on the river walk.
Lean lines of headlights glare over
entry gate, doorman, lobby-high windows.
Street lamps prism color wheels through
remaining leaves, barren limbs.
Fountain pools stir empty plazas,
pedestrians on a temptation stroll.
Walking through water,
each step disappears.
Like King Hal at his wine,
I demand, “Give me quiet.”
A siren shrills.
Only the criminals laugh.
There are no innocents
An Animal or a God
Paint glistens yellow in the night rain,
dark Bacardi pours easy over ice.
Like the ghostly colonials of Apocalypse Now--
lost to France, dying in Vietnam,
I’m stranded in this tiger wilderness.
Half-awake, sleep leeched by dread sense,
I avoid the sun, seal doors and blinds against
mutations of neighbor noise, music’s call.
My watch hangs from the hilt of a knife
embedded in a photo frame.
I’ve lost my image in shards of mirror.
Locating sectors that comfort and secure,
I squat between bed and wall.
The knock at the door is
my widowed lover with a pipe or
a summary of sins to date.
I rise from ready crouch to respond.
R.T. Castleberry is a widely published poet and critic. His work has appeared in Roanoke Review, Trajectory, Blue Collar Review, White Wall Review, The Alembic and Visitant. Internationally, Castleberry’s work has been published in Canada, Wales, Ireland, Scotland, New Zealand and Antarctica. His work has been featured in the anthologies, Travois-An Anthology of Texas Poetry, The Weight of Addition, Anthem: A Tribute to Leonard Cohen and You Can Hear the Ocean: An Anthology of Classic and Current Poetry. His chapbook, Arriving At The Riverside, was published by Finishing Line Press in 2010. An e-book, Dialogue and Appetite, was published by Right Hand Pointing in May, 2011. He recommends the Houston Food Bank.