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Bruce A. Jacobs – Ⅲ





The medics loiter,

stalled white clockwork.

The shock trauma copter

slouches on spring-loaded heels,

as if we, in our line

of stopped cars a mile long,

sit in the sun for nothing.


We abandon engines and loved ones

with our tinkered excuses,

peer down the embankment

at what’s left on the tracks:

shards of green motorcycle,

blue helmet on gravel, men in yellow

who slow-orbit a blue-jeaned thing.

We move our hands at each other,

strangers building a story:


There was a boy, a leap like

rocket graffiti, maybe gravel or blindness

between him and earth

for one bottomless instant,

a roar between worlds, then

a tree or a train.

Thin denim rag doll. Look:

Dead for sure.

We cling to the guard rail

here on the verge


of our mob’s dream,

a death freshly made, the meat

of the thing that awaits us.

He has been there, this boy,

in the screaming moment

when death sneaks past the present,

bursts in one side, out the other

and has us gone

before we’ve left.


We want an insider

in that country,

a driver to spy for us,

to lean into the windshield,

whisper back to us

how our motion will change,

how our glass will open

or shatter.


But all a body can tell us

– as yellow men bear it

uphill, boots first –

is that today a boy pulled on

his black leather boots,

yanked the thongs tight,

not knowing that he could have gone

naked, that shoes or skin would now

be nothing to him, his boots jutting

from a stretcher like lost luggage.


And so we fall back

from the guard rail, back

onto our heels. We wander to cars,

tell waiting companions that yes, someone

has died, we don’t know just how it went –

we couldn’t get quite close enough

to see.