Charlottesville

by Sean Lause

Fever hangs in the willows.
The man with the cocksure eye
awaits you down this road.

Trees spell their leaves in syllables of fear.
A black ghost and a white ghost
dance a mystery through your past.

Read these August birds, crossed in winds.
A death may carve you mystic,
or leave you chanting to the dust.

The kid with an engine for a heart
has one dream alone,
to give misery its own last name.

The man with the cocksure eye
was General Someone once,
but something’s buried beneath his marble.

Beware his phantom statue,
as it cries for the corpse of Honor,
and sinks into the silence of the swamp.

And beware this greying yesteryear.
Its land lies purge-less in its blood.
And its dead walk torch-lit in the night.

 

Sean Lause is a professor of English at Rhodes State College in Lima, Ohio. His poems have appeared in The Minnesota Review, The Alaska Quarterly, Poetry International, The Beloit Poetry Journal, Another Chicago Magazine and Illuminations. He has published three books of poetry.

 

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