Eleventh Hour

by Kimberly Cloutier Green

You were a big, horns – only concert of a man.
I was your sapphire – tongued chameleon.
Kiss me, kiss me.  You know the rest.
Now the preacher’s packed his tent
and the amen choir’s scattered.
The Got Milk ? billboard on Main trembles

the way you do when the sun clocks high noon
and freezes us on our knees — baby in her high chair
has green sparks for eyes, but there’s never any guarantee,
and nothing

honorable in this grief — we’d made plans
for a different future.  Now we spin and spin
in our aluminum boat, oars out of reach, and no way out
except the Marble Proscenium.
The keyhole requires a delicate instrument —

the miniature trumpet on Satchmo’s charm ring,
or the songs it plays — the ones that pierce and hold on,
leaving us with our faces in our hands.    Use that key

before our children are gone,
before theirs have names we don’t recognize,
before the sky turns finally red
and all the colorblind fish with their tiny magician hearts
forget how to steer us home.