happens to someone puffing a cigarette.
It’s not because
there are secrets in the smoke,
fat-bellied Buddha unfurling a prayer-raised hand
in the wraiths of exhalation.
And it’s not because
whoever owns those nicotine-twitched fingers
is taking their break underneath a bodhi tree
silver November afternoon rain.
It happens because it is the last thing you expect,
besides space stations crashing down from orbit
or the dead rising from their graves, or
an honest politician.
The most unanticipated way to spend
two o’clock on a Thursday:
thinking about picking up baguettes and buttermilk
after work, and wondering if the storm
will blow over by tomorrow, and taking
a long slow drag
to populate the lungs with inevitability,
forever in length, echoing with the jigsaw click
of the last piece of the universe
falling into place.
Harker is the pseudonym of a twentysomething graduate student
from the East Coast of the US. In between classes and other
frivolous pursuits, he tries his hand at scribbling poems when
possible, and wishes he had more time to do so. His work can be
found in journals like
ganymede and qarrtsiluni,
but it's best to reach him at