Kate Northrop

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.