SPOTLIGHT: ‘Second Hand Salvation’ by Richard LeDue

Trying to Leave -30 Nights Behind

The ice road starts to melt in March,
but always refreezes at night,
reminding me of how love
becomes frigid in bed,
unnoticed for years.

The ice road gets bumpy too,
like a conversation
about pulling blankets off each other
that ends with separate quilts.

The ice road is faster than waiting
on summer nights (bright until 11 PM)
for a ferry
that breaks down enough to reassure us
everything is going to be alright.

There will always be dreams

we don’t want to talk about:

a naked co-worker,

a bloody knife looking to write
its initials in our hide,

and flying,
forgetting about gravity,
only to fall so the ground
can remind us to wake up,

leaving us telling someone
we’re okay,

which helps fuel the silence
burning through too much
of life, making us feel
like another candle
prudishly extinguished before bed.

Midnight Silence

Unsaid goodnights blacken your soul,
along with tiny as crumbs in bed,
making you mad enough
to close your eyes
and try to drown yourself
in the driest forgetfulness,
until in the mouthless midnight silence,
an “I love you”
flickers against the darkness.

Burned Out

Ineffectual as a light switch
after the bulb lost another fight
with darkness,
while I used keep myself awake
with the thoughts of others
flashing like cartoon ideas
of me being unscrewed and replaced,
but now it’s all just another night,
where stars lose a shouting match
to streetlights,
making me feel a bit better
under the sky’s unblinking black-eye.

Another October Morning

A tired mind
is better than a flat tire
at 7:39 AM,
but mechanics might disagree,
especially as you misremember
your debit card PIN code
and smile,
knowing fresh snow
isn’t that far away.


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