Maggie Smith


                for Pierre

In a town more crowded with the dead
than the living, we stood in line at the observatory,
waiting our turn. Mars was round and red,
as we'd been told. We may have taken
the long way home around Gettysburg Square
and over the tracks. Or we may have stilled
the spinning dessert case at the Lincoln Diner
for a slice of pie. What I remember is
we went home and our lives did not change.
Mars would never be closer, not to us,
but who would miss it? Some nights ghosts
still rose to our second-story windows, tipping
their canteens to show us they were empty.

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