Now you will shepherd lost things
and they will follow you
through every airport, crowd every interview,
every dinner, every funeral, and follow you,
like it or not, into the smallest hole,
to either pole, ever true.

Tiny cracked angels yanked from the trash
in full song, irreplaceable clear German
marbles, orphaned Army Men;
cabinets jammed with crystal stars,
the logs, the crater, and Ray Charles
—that only gets you to Third Grade.

There was a world to lose then
everywhere crunchy underfoot
—remember that sound?
Now a world has passed all the way through
your slippery heart.
You had a pocket, then a sack,

now you need a Swedenborgian heaven
to keep them all in, a boundless mental situation
where lost things make do
bumping into each other, repeating their names,
watching you.
All to stay until one day

one thing will be last to lose
and gain the loss of, a final
falling, watching something
unshine, arrive in heaven dazed, leaking memories.
When that lost thing says hello,
when you pat it on the head

and say what should always be said
in that place where it’s alright, airtight
summer and Mom kisses you goodnight,
the herd will scatter, your fadeout event,
only going where you were going,
not where you went.

© 2019 Evan Fowler