We are lost

in Viagra’d beds,

in sticky, spilled orange sidewalk pop,

in black sidewalk gum,

in sidewalk blood,

in blood cough,

in closing time at McDonald’s.


We are lost

under the weight of breathing.


Our reality show is unwatched.


We are lost alone.


We are lost

under control of blank-heart marketers.


We are directionless, hopeless, homeless,

without peace, untouched, cross-nailed.


Tell me we aren’t.


We count down our two thousand million seconds.

We hear the raw prophesy in our blood pulse.

We know awful solitude.




We are lost

far behind the pack,

in the sandstorm, on calmless seas, in ever-dark alleys,

forgotten in our time-out corner,

forgotten on our bassinette, strapped,

ignored in our unworthiness,




turned away from —


after the lights go off, on mean streets

and dream streets and yellow-brick streets,

unvoted for, unselected, unbirthed, untouched.


Enduring, on the road, in ravened embrace.


We are lost

as we hold blooded hands

and keel into the pounding falls.


Exhaling, exhaling, all is exhaling. Then, silence.


We are lost in our SUV, in our Humvee,

on our mountain bike, on foot, wheelchaired,

gurneyed into the operating room,

gurneyed to the basement coolers —


on the armied dark beach,

unable to climb bloody down from our fatal tree,

reaching across the chasm,

in grave and ash and scattered bones.


There is no lost paradise.


We are lost to decay, to rot, to corruption, to death —

from birth.


We are lost as we hold hands.


We are lost

behind the Oak Lawn house,

holding hands

on the bloody grass.


We are lost

as we hold hands

for the walk to the chamber.


We are lost




Patrick T. Reardon

Patrick T. Reardon, a three-time Pushcart Prize nominee, is the author of eight books, including the poetry collection Requiem for David and Faith Stripped to Its Essence, a literary-religious analysis of Shusaku Endo’s novel Silence His poetry has appeared in Silver Birch Press, San Antonio Review, Eclectica, Esthetic Apostle, Ground Fresh Thursday, Literary Orphans, Rhino, Spank the Carp, Main Street Rag, The Write Launch, Meat for Tea, Tipton Poetry Journal, UCity Review, Under a Warm Green Linden and The Write City.

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