The last drops of music.
The tapering and exit

of a rat.
The letting go of gloves,

chandeliers, first impressions.
The story has done

its strip tease.
We need to prolong the gong’s

lingering tone
in late-night cafés.

It’s a debriefing of sorts,
a sorting out of what

just happened.


I wish I could give up words
            altogether, to be
            as indifferent as the gods
            were to their own sparkling thoughts.

            Sitting in the dark
            watching fireflies.

            Becoming a swan.
            Becoming its beak.

And listening, not to silence,
            but the whir or several
            rare engines.

I hear of “bygone centuries,”
            but can’t afford the melancholy.
           Bees make honey,
           but they have no tongues.

It takes time and division.
            Wires and trombones.

It takes an intrepid heart
            to communicate

            by scratching crude scores
            into vellum. 



Glen Armstrong holds an MFA in English from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and teaches writing at Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan. He edits a poetry journal called Cruel Garters and has a chapbook titled Set List (Bitchin Kitsch,) and two new titles that came out in 2015: In Stone and The Most Awkward Silence of All (both Cruel Garters Press.) His work has appeared in Poetry Northwest, Conduit and Cloudbank.