Penultimate by D.R. Wagner

I’ve got this house in the desert. They won’t find us there. You can wear a rose in your hair. Tomorrow is close, still small, still inert.

You showed me the knife blade. It almost glowed when I touched it. Who was going to believe we were here? We sh
redded our clothing as it got darker.

We stood on either side of the window so we could see the streets. A patrol was walking slowly up the avenue with their dogs and their rifles cradled in their arms like something dead.

The streetlight across the way would flicker then go out for a few minutes. That was our signal to leave. I grabbed your forearm and pulled you near to me. ‘Listen, this all we have left. We will meet on the other side of the river. Stay close to the buildings.’

When I saw the video later, I couldn’t help but notice that you were biting your lips hard. I put my hands on the screens. I could feel you in the flickering light. Things would be okay. The children told me you would be here in morning.

I kissed the back of my hands. They were trembling so.

D.R. Wagner is the author of over 20 books and chapbooks of poetry and letters. He founded press : today : Niagara and Runcible Spoon (press) in the late 1960’s and produced over fifty magazines and chapbooks. His work is much published and has appeared in many translations. He resides in Locke, California.

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