the broadside series


Blue Fifth Review
Volume VII. Issue 6
October 2007

Laurel K. Dodge
( Ohio )


To Live Without Regret

Behind me, the house is breathing
even though it has no pulse.
All of the clocks have stopped.

I smoke an imaginary cigaretteó
I have no vices left; this body
bores itself to deathóand try

to imagine what it would be like to live
without regret. I would float up
like a balloon inflated with helium, lost, 

loosed. I would touch the top and break 
through. Every morning, a bird sings 
outside my window. Every morning, 

this sparrow sings the same meandering 
tune. I used to scream: Shut up! Shut up! 
I used to want to throw rocks. Now, 

I canít even hear that damned birdís song. 
At night, I used to turn on my bedside lamp 
and listen to the June bugs ping the screen. 

I used to wonder why love couldnít be 
that easy. Behind me, the house is breathing.
My imaginary cigarette has killed itself.

Itís time to go in and let the night be.
But I canít sleep. Iím restless. I am 
an ember glowing red in the dark.

Broadside Series - Contents