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and our lives just an awkward silence

beneath a temporary sun

stillborn moments

caught in the air like mist

and they wonder why we don't

want to get up in the mornings

you can turn on your computer

day or night and become friends

with everybody in the world all at once

and it's lonelier than anything

you could have ever imagined we waste the day in hand

yet petition the gods for more

sifting through the rubble of it

for some expired sliver of grace

some busted trinket cast from eternity

so that we might forget death

for another hour or two

honey those sirens out there

they sing for someone

give me one last shot of useless beauty

as it all comes down upon us

see I never wanted to save the world

just to make it back home before dark.



The days and the hours slip off

to wherever it is they go

I spend what's left of my time

trying to flee the traps in which

I've caught myself

this abiding loneliness

it is our birthright, inseparable

from anything else we might

dream to be

accepting the truth of it

I imagine is the first step

on the path to something

even the poets eventually

run out of things to say

about beauty

sex and death

and simply long to collapse

on some dirty street corner

in San Francisco

or New Orleans

drinking dark wine

telling the sky

I am empty

I am empty

my god

I am empty

and feeling no shame

in the embrace of it.


William Taylor Jr. (he/him) lives and writes in San Francisco. He is the author of numerous books of poetry, and a volume of fiction. His work has been published widely in literary journals, including Rattle, The New York Quarterly, and The Chiron Review. He was a recipient of the 2013 Kathy Acker Award, and edited "Cocky Moon: Selected Poems of Jack Micheline" (Zeitgeist Press, 2014). "Pretty Things to Say" (Six Ft. Swells Press, 2020) is his latest collection of poetry. A new collection is forthcoming from Roadside Press.

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