Jul/Aug 2012 Poetry

Car Horn

by Joel Fry

Car Horn

The world an old man inhabits is never
as large as the world he hears.
The humming streets and singing woods
inform all he knows of his suburb,
imparting a lust he never stops seeing.

Late in the evening the news hour
blurs his tunnel vision.
His frosty breath fills with rain that fades
into pines and sedge fields.

The earth is merciful.
The news hour drones
through his open windows
mingling its garrulous truths
with an owl's hooting.

Starlight grows
like an approaching car horn
in heavy fog. He hears it
in his monologue,
when he speaks for himself,
when he pronounces his fate
like an opera singer.

The neighborhood
occupies its own aura,
each house standing guard
over all the night leaves naked.
He never knows how troubled
he has become or where
his trouble lies.

He speaks to the darkness—
blush of thunder, heft of moonlight, sheaf
of tangled metal after a car collision—
and the familiar trumpet, somewhere
in the brass infinity, is the world's reply.


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