A Bolt of Black Cloth

by Steven McCabe

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I imagined a colour the density of funeral bunting,

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A bolt of black cloth,

a singed songflaring

A sudden black waterfall quickly dropping six stories,

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Unrolled from a balcony,

dense nights

The beginning of a voyage,

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Negotiating darkness.

flaring

My father shopped at Dales for paper bags full of groceries,

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I waited in the car listening to the radio,

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I tried to describe a song called Eve of Destruction,

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He looked at me in the rear-view mirror,

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Columns of black smoke rose above the Pacific Ocean,

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Like poisonous vines,

the projector shining

Morse code blinking through the darkness,

waiting in the car 1

At night he came home as late as possible,

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Then looking again into the rear-view mirror,

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He repeated the name of the song,

‘Eve of Destruction.’

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I pictured a wooden bowl in my chest,

parkinglotthe projector shining

Smoothed and worn by water,

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& Climbing the stairs into this language,

a ring

Gazed, longingly, into a rear-view mirror.

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