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Local Illumination; Enzo Nimbus by Bill Howell


What else do you need to know?

Outside our boxes of light,

ghosts we no longer believe in

refuse to flicker or flinch at the edges,

prefer to turn us into fellow travellers.

A stream of vacant streetcars

trundles along the East End run—

over-lit studios full of dead air.

And Jay Kim, an all too visible witness

who can’t see anything, crouches

behind the front counter following

gunshots across from his corner store.

What else does he need to know?

Just beyond our cooking fires & torches,

night-blind wolves wait

patiently for chances to turn

elders into ancestors.

An old woman sheds her blanket,

walks out in the strange May snow

to interview the fireflies,

her inner light an incidental miracle.

But the fireflies have long since

forgotten to remind the wolves

to keep their social distance.

What else do they need to know?


Here he still is, the fluff-ball of himself disproving

the notion that black cats can’t fly. Asleep on his perch,

his white left front paw probes the upper stratosphere.

As he dreams, his right front other white one whiskers

its way through & across the underbellies of clouds.

Nobody dares to ask him what he’s doing up there.

He’s simply gunning his customized Ferrari.

It has a muffler that barely purrs. Its perfect silence

whispers what none of us can ever guess.

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