Gregory Crosby


Midnight, not long after. Or rather, long
after all the midnight that came before it.

The air is cooling, the firestorm not yet
turning in a counterclockwise fashion,

the summer soundlessly tuning.
There’s a stillness, just now, in the air.

The mea culpas are passed around, the
worst refusing to drink, obstinate even

as power wanes. What wanes, waxes.
They know. In the stillness,

the pressure drops, but no one quite
relaxes. Not yet. Everyone holds

the breath that slips through fingers
stiff from playing peek-a-boo

with scary faces, hooded heads,
bodies at rest in oil-black bags.

Clockwise, and a time, foolish.
A long summer, then.

The other side of the furnace door
is the sun in mourning for the day

it brings—the day when all the lies
lie, perishing, in the higher noon

of the nation; when the sleepwalker
stands atop his own shadow

as if on a flagpole, eyes purblind,
wide. Widening.


Gregory Crosby’s work has previously appeared in Court Green, Epiphany, Copper Nickel, Leveler, Ping Pong, Paradigm, Rattle, Ophelia Street, Jacket, Pearl, and Sink Review, among others.  He holds an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from the City College of New York. Prior to that, he was an art critic in Las Vegas, Nevada (which still works as an icebreaker at parties).