Autumn Sky Poetry . . . Number 18 . . .

Walking Is Good and Other Things We Tell Ourselves

     by Luke Evans

The edge of the asphalt is cracked and crumbling

where he steps on the painted white line, blessing

the wheat and thistle with outstretched palm.

Boys in a car hoot and holler, but he does not

flinch. He envisions leaping onto their trunk, ripping

the door open, and throwing each one into a tree.

A gray finch lies on the roadway. He bumps it

with his shoe. It is like a toy. Its feathers are still soft,

its eyes black with a crystal glint. There is no blood.

He stands in the archway of a mausoleum, presses his ear

to the stone door. A draft whispers secrets of the dead

to the corn spider wrapping a beetle in a silk cocoon.

He sits in the shade of a pine along a cemetery road

thinking about deer ticks and how itchy the grass is

and scrambles away when a car crunches down the lane.

A padlock key lies along the curb. He rolls it

through his fingers, tosses it into the gutter, revels

in the clinks off the grate and the sploosh of the water.

Puffs of clouds court the horizon; he is surrounded.

Unseen space and flighty wisps lord over him

as the sun continues its ceaseless interrogation.

He plucks the head off a wildflower between his knuckles.

It is a giant white ring on his finger, a thousand tiny

blossoms he never could make. He twirls it and twirls it.

A rabbit picks at the gravel before him. It stops as he crunches

closer, perks up. They stare each other down.

It is frozen; he draws closer; its ears twitch; his lips part.

It, too, runs away.


Luke Evans specializes in water and words, sometimes confusing the two. They do not make good bedfellows. He has written many stories and poems, some of which can be found at Contrary, TQRstories, Etchings, and The Externalist. Do not confuse them as his creations. He is merely a witness, indicting the beauty of the world and all those in it.

“Walking Is Good and Other Things We Tell Ourselves” first appeared in The Hiss Quarterly.


© 2010 Luke Evans