Things Are Disappearing Here

Things are disappearing here: a pale light
spreads over the sea beneath which

X drops, falls back to the blind
silences, to the undeveloped

secret fish which have been abandoned there
and grow vicious.
And things are disappearing

also in the country. Already the roads
twist into the distance, rise
into columns of smoke

and in the parking lots of a discount store,
a sedan explodes. Then it happens that our fathers
sail off, a whole flotilla fills the sky,

their jackets and ties flapping

like the pages of books the never read. Our fathers
are disappearing yet they are not

ashamed. All things go: at the edge of the city, dogs run off,
they tear themselves from their lines

and in the middle of the night,
from neighborhoods more trenchant than ours, we hear their barks,
those clear openings that come to us

over the schoolyard, the homes boarded up, and then
in through windows. The sound of the missing dogs

for a while survives, and that is just enough
to cheer us.

Kate Northrop

Things Are Disappearing Here first appeared in Raritan Review, Volume XXV, Number 4.

First posted on October 2, 2006 5:45 AM