The Focus Is You


Fred Alsberg

Fred Alsberg

Paperweight, by Fred Alsberg

Eight floors down
in a snow-covered parking lot,
a car is sawing itself free.

It leaves a black space its own shape,
then fishtails into the street
where traffic creeps as though underwater.

The whole city is submerged,
and snowflakes filter down
like fish food in an aquarium,

to where people walk free of their footprints.

Oklahoma Windscape, by Fred Alsberg

Your currents
rush in gusts
through the invisible ocean
we live in.

In every tree,
crowds of leaves
rise in unison,
their seeds
setting out on journeys.

We, however,
hurry home,
hear murmurous friction,
you sharpening
yourself on stone.

In the eaves
you’re a child
trying to breathe life
back into a broken whistle.

You set a-quiver
window panes,
you cause the stagger
of a loose shutter.

We huddle in basements,
in hallways,
pray our card house
of long-laid plans
won’t get swept away.

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The Focus Is You