An Ounce of Prevention
The soldiers hurrying past you
stow a leather briefcase. Inside
rests a file, thick, & bears names
like midnight towering a valley.
You swear for rabbits to come
& stretch the pedal down. You
borrow books & comb feelings
inversely to the heart, pillbox
flesh when pages buzz into rage
for weather mends accordingly.
In the file as well are the nights
old men leaned from their work
to hear the bugle sound. You’ve
injured those dearest, your hair
again the odd wing descending.
In the end you’ll be memorized.
Michael Robins is the author of three collections of poetry, most recently Ladies & Gentlemen (Saturnalia Books, 2011) and In Memory of Brilliance & Value (Saturnalia, 2015). He teaches literature and creative writing at Columbia College Chicago.