From a Distance

George Franklin

The sun has already dropped low and
The light turned gold. The brown and blue of
Earth in late November turn as well,
The dense green of black olive trees and
Philodendron mixing with sky, dirt,
And the air that has no color. I
Said yesterday that I loved this light,
How it slips through the bushes, tinting
The cars in the parking lot, the black
Asphalt street, sidewalks, and windowpanes
Of the high-rise apartments to the
East of where we were standing. Later,
We walked along the canal and stared
At headlights crossing the horizon
Like shooting stars. It sounds idyllic,
But only if you’re careful where you
Look. On the next street, there’s a house where
Two people were murdered last week. I
Passed by the television truck and
The police cars when I walked the dog,
Saw yellow crime-scene tape stretched across
The driveway. It was a two-story
With a fountain in front. The owner’s
Son told the press it was a rental
And there was a lot of blood. Now, the
Tape is gone, and someone has cleaned up
The mess. If there aren’t any details,
It’s because they only matter to
Someone else—family, or someone
Who knew them as more than a story
On a news show. I didn’t. I kept
Walking, by the same canal where we
Walked later, looking at the crescent
Moon and constellations. When the dog
Stopped to bury his nose in the grass,
I stared at a blue helicopter
Hovering over the house, taking
Videos of the swimming pool, the
Empty patio, and tired police
Investigators moving back and
Forth across the landscaped yard. That night,
The lights of police cars and broadcast
Trucks were pools of yellow, purple, and
Red on the wet surface of the street.
From a distance, it looked beautiful


George Franklin is the author of Noise of the World (Sheila-Na-Gig Editions), Travels of the Angel of Sorrow (Blue Cedar Press), Among the Ruins / Entre las ruinas (Katakana Editores), and Traveling for No Good Reason (Sheila-Na-Gig Editions). Individual publications include: Into the Void, The Woven Tale Press Magazine, The Threepenny Review, Salamander, Pedestal Magazine, Cagibi, and The American Journal of Poetry. He practices law in Miami and is the co-translator, along with the author, of Ximena Gómez’s Último día/Last Day (Katakana Editores). His website is https://gsfranklin.com/.

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