Four Way Books/Anthology
Fiction and Poetry $23.95
THE FALL OF THE EMPIRE
by Kevin Prufer
Comes like a hammer to a window, a thin crash.
Like a row of bees, angry, through the hole.
Or strange and unwanted, a pained guest,
a guest who has not long to live.
Come slowly, I tell it, and gentle as an evening.
Come unlike a bee stingserene, harmless,
raining over the house, raining me asleep.
It would be good if it came in my old age like a blue wind
from a nest in the yard. If it came on quick wings by night,
while I slept on the couch, having finished for the day.
Or it would be good if it startled me and was over,
if all at once the sky went dark and the snow
was a cold sting I did not feel. If it came
like the frozen bee I found the other day,
no longer dangerous, but asleep. If it was like sleep,
curled on a rock in the snow. It is only a shell,
I wanted to say, its dead wings still against its husk.
It is only a wing that has stopped against the body, in the cold.
I can put so many names to it, none of them good.
It would be best if it had no wings at all.
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