When I return to my place,
nothing has moved
beneath the layers of dust.
Everything’s intact as if
I had planned how it should be found.

The series of decisions we made together
now leaves us, one by one, to grasp
that our chances are as random
as the wind chimes’ unrehearsed jangling
over the pallor on the lawns,
pending as the gaping mouths
of the newly blinded, stunned
by the distant flash.

John Middlebrook has been writing poetry since he was a graduate student at the University of Chicago, where he served on the poetry staff of Chicago Review. His work has appeared in Writers’ Bloc, Foundling Review, and Yes, Poetry.