“Hawk’s Eye,” photograph by Mattis Van Schuylenbergh, 2008. Used with permission.

by Tim Craven

I recall as kids when our obsession would
lead us into the thick backwoods

next to the decommissioned railway
line, our pockets stuffed with ribbons

of old newspaper and stolen matches.
When the eyes of the day

had been scooped out and enveloped
by an oily darkness, we stacked scraps of

fallen willow sticks and waited
for them to catch. As one night got late

I mouthed my goodbyes to the ravaged
city and memories labeled for erasure,

the ones you could see in my stance
and catch in my voice:

the dark-hearted bark of a rusted exhaust pipe,
an envelope addressed in my father’s writing,

an eye tremulous from medication,
the old cinema with smashed-out windows.

omega man

Tim Craven’s poetry has appeared in Anon Poetry Magazine, Envoi, New Delta Review, and elsewhere. Originally from Stoke-on-Trent, England, he is presently an MFA student at Syracuse.