The Unknowable

Los Angeles hums
a little tune --
trucks down
the coast road
for Monday Market
packed with small faces
blinking in the dark.
My mother dreams
by the open window.
On the drainboard
the gray roast humps
untouched, the oven
bangs its iron jaws,
but it's over.
Before her on the table
set for so many
her glass of fire
goes out.
The childish photographs,
the letters and cards
scatter at last.
The dead burn alone
toward dawn.


Submitted by Glenn Cooper

by Philip Levine

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