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Requiem for a Dying Star
Tracy M. Rogers

Have we forgotten the slip
And the slide
Of continental plates?
The spark and glow
Of dying embers
That filled our lungs
With blistering smoke
And molten ash?

Have we just begun
The painter's dream -
Sonorous reds
Elastic blues
Effervescent yellows
And rapturous greens -
Only to lose the tapestry
To the brazen morning sun?

Or have we fallen
So far from grace -
Become enraptured
With our own syllables,
With bloodlust
And the clock's slender hands -
That we've forgotten
Where we began?

New Orleans
Tracy M. Rogers

Ponchatrain breeched the North Shore yesterday
and swallowed Canal Street
stealing the dim glow of the street lamps
and leaving only filth and the stench of death

Bourbon Street fell silent
no jazz saxophones moaned
no blues guitars wailed
only the drum of rifle fire broke the gathering silence

And the night sky hung low with sadness
heavy with smoke and ash
as an inferno reached up to singe the August stars
and illuminate thousands in their watery graves

New Orleans #2
Tracy M. Rogers

And this silence is all that remains
of heavy rifle fire
and crackling flames
of screams stifled
by the midnight air
and the thunderous tide
flowing through the levee

It is here amid the silence
that we must begin again
shake off the shackles of false pride
and the illusion of security
to finally see the truth hidden
among the scattered corpses
and shattered dreams

Tracy M. Rogers

It is easy when far from the shore
In your quiet tract homes
Built on half-acre lots
Of ponderous rock or unyielding plain
To forget those on the periphery
Straddling the ever-shifting fault line

Who feel the earth's undeniable inertia -
The convulsions and spasms
From its cataclysmic core -
Propel them into the tumult
Like a solitary, perishing leaf
In the untamed wind of a desert sandstorm

Who run from the molten rock
That hurtles from the earth's volatile nucleus
Turning to scalding cinders at their feet,
Smoldering ash in their lungs,
Shimmering obsidian in their backyards

Who are captured by brazen tidal waves
That stalk once-inhabited shorelines
Leaving only wet, gray sand
And a solitary yellow flip-flop tangled with kelp
Where their children once built castles
And traced their outlines in the sand


Fucked and Forgotten
Tracy M. Rogers

Where did it all begin?
You were standing beneath the porcelain street light
your skyscraper heals and your denim mini worn and tattered
your blonde hair tangled in soft golden curls
when he found you, took you from that place
He might have been your salvation
a blue and white pickup driving I-5 south
into your Hollywood dreams
But instead we found you along Route 99
where he left you alone in the cold, black earth
with only redwood leaves and deer to keep you company,
only maggots to keep you warm
And he would return again and again
to touch your decomposing flesh
your brittle bleached hair
indulge his base desires
until you began to fade back to the earth
Then, he forgot you
like all the other men you knew
like so many women before you
fucked and forgotten, against your will
and he couldn't even remember where he last saw you
never knew your name, never cared
didn't recognize your face
two nights later on the 11 o'clock news

Tracy M. Rogers
editor, critic, poet, photographer
PO Box 9922
Fayetteville, AR 72703