Justin Carpenter

For a Black Cat Lying Peacefully on the Road’s Side

There is a certain sound that haunts a city.
It sounds of a charged and flowing river.
It is the trucks moving softly at a distance, 
Their iron-chain tires, a rotund jouissance, 
As they trundle along some paved clarity
Rubber soles shredding road-worn livers.

It rings out in the shimmering and slamming
Of glass doors closing of their own volition
Glinting as a well-tied chance, a fishing lure,
Cast behind just as gravity must ensure
That all things fall and change upon landing
And so doing feel a lightness in demolition.

Muffled by the background and its cold facts-
The events and the hum-drumming dance-
The shades outside howl and yet, no avail,
Unresolvable for these long-dead squirrels
And the black cat lain on an icy bed, relaxed.
His family will find him tomorrow, and aching

Will mourn him with a shoebox and candles
Some proper music, hope to warm his bones
As they meld into the heavenly wood's chorus,
Sink further and further into a cool calmness
As the persistent sound of steel sea ambles,
Seagulls and shorelines muted to low moans.

And he will enter the pristine cavern of echoes
Reserved for piping players, five, facing outward.
His heart will be weighed and, weighing nothing,
Will disperse into the groan of a bridge melting
To be reunited with the peculiar cawing crows
Beneath the concrete groaning with celerity.

His ghost will string meetings inside the air
Of timbres and tinges, a purring intonation. 
He will cross the paths of whoever he wishes
And no one will hear it, his voice diminishing
In the dell of cherry trees lacking pink hair,
Their long-term solidity a teasing bifurcation.

Justin Carpenter is a PhD candidate in English Language and Literature at the University of Waterloo in Canada, focusing on aesthetics, critical game studies, philosophy of technology, poetics, and new media art. His poem “Desynching Procedure” was published in Existere in 2018.