The Unresolved

So many stories of unfinished
business— A deadline or curfew 
always looms at midnight. 
The young gallants must return 
their dance partners to the dock 
before they're discovered missing, 
before their boats sink or dissolve 
in sunlight. To break a spell, the girl's 
flashing fingers must fling the woven 
garments on the flock as it rushes
into the air at dusk. Don't ask why one 
has an arm that drags like a broken wing 
though the rest of his limbs are whole. 
Don't ask why the sole of the shoe 
wears thin night after night and why
no leather can withstand the chafing
of desire. Ask instead why no one
opened the door to let the orphan in,
instead of allowing her to crouch 
outside in the cold; she struck match
after match against a flimsy book
until not one stick remained, not
one red flame making promises.

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