An American in Belgium

1

Clocks imprisoned in stone began ticking.
Everybody born here seemed to know what that meant.
I hadn’t spent much time in skyscrapers,
holding the black receiver to my ear.

2

The rain fell. I watched through the train window.
Cows were kneeling in a field
out of a mistaken notion of humility.

3

A hand had washed ashore outside Antwerp.
Somebody mentioned the Congolese;
somebody else, the Russian mafia.
“Can you taste the honey?”
another new friend asked,
the table crowded with bottles
and bulbous beer glasses.
I said I could. I couldn’t.

 

YPRES

Despite
a cold
misty rain

poplars
stand
at attention

as
we wander
jet-lagged

down rows
& rows
of gravestones

40,000
stubby
white teeth

bared

 


Howie Good, a journalism professor at SUNY New Paltz, is the author of five poetry collections, most recently Dreaming in Red from Right Hand Pointing and Cryptic Endearments from Knives Forks & Spoons Press. He has a number of forthcoming chapbooks, including The Death of Me from Pig Ear Press and Strange Roads from Puddle of Sky Press.

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