Miracle, Ending in Arrest
by David Wright

“20-year-old claims ‘out-of-body experience’ led to false fire alarm at UI dorm”
 —Headline, Champaign News-Gazette, 20 October 2014

When you leave your body, sound
the alarm until everyone else leaves
the building and gathers in the dark
fall air in their tank tops and underwear.

Here, hovering above the half-turned
leaves and the approaching sirens
and the rising sound of your own
inebriated heart, you could hear

God, or the woman you brought
home from the bar, whispering
in your beer-dulled ears: you are
fucked, man, because soon, like

these almost wakened women
in their orange sweatshirts, the bros
lighting up butts on the sidewalk,
the officer in blue flashing everyone

his badge and spotlighting your emptied
eyes, you will have to go back inside,
not the dorm, but your body, the chest
and head which do not seem to love you

tonight, but launched you into the air
like a bad prayer: forgive him again,
Lord, said your throat after you had gone,
your hands emptying buildings like temples,

miracle of unpresence, single touch


David Wright teaches creative writing and American literature at Monmouth College (Illinois). His poems have appeared in Image, Ecotone, Poetry East, and Artful Dodge, among many others. In 2003, he was awarded an Illinois Arts Council Fellowship for poetry. His most recent poetry collection is The Small Books of Bach (Wipf & Stock, 2014).




Photo Credit: Ryan Rickrode

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