Grant Exits

Grant Exits

Homespun vinegar
odors & turquoise
glow of primeval 
evening swell
the glass-bright
ether & compel
this rumple-
hatted solider
to desert cobble-
stone seeded
with dead.
From first to last
vision every
being is guided
by the osmosis
of loss. We watch
him, our sour
eyes tethered
to truth: he takes
a vanquished 
road to a statuesque
city of no
return, leaving
us on our knees
in filth
& faith.
A bluing brass
breeze carries
the dispatch
between trumpets
& scavengers.
We remember
he could only
stomach burnt
bloodless meat.
He passes under
the Arch of Regret,
hands in pockets,
as if going to battle.
Julia must be on his mind:
there is life on the horizon.

Accident Report

Rotational impact, unexplained
electrical fires, eyewitness

accounts of flames stretching
like clouds at dusk and a final  

zero in the non-fatal column goads 
me into pounding sleeplessness.   

My ribs splinter outward into black
noise like the husk of an ark—

sheet coils around till I’m blue
and fatherless. If you’re a passenger

in the sky with thirty-seven souls
corkscrewing into chaos and ocean,  

do you experience painless love
for the petrified stranger beside you

and the people in your life
in a moment greater than death?

Paul Joseph Enea’s poetry, fiction, and nonfiction have appeared in numerous publications, including Porcupine Literary Arts, Verse Wisconsin, Portals & Piers, and The Irish American Post. He was named an Emerging Writer of 2023 by Cleaver Magazine and received an Honorary Mention in their flash fiction contest.

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