Kevin Prufer


Who Are Our Barbarians?



Lock the door. Press the red button
so the alarm goes on.

Perhaps you have seen one disappear
over the wall. Perhaps a scrap

of shirt on the barbed wire. Footprint
where the rose bush grows.

Maybe you would touch one like a fetish.
Oiled and smooth. Warm,

then cooler. Cold. A knife might take
the heart out. A pear in the hand, sopping

like yours. Knife to the belly
where the last meal sleeps. What

does it tell you?
They are always dying. Every day,

the fingers curl into buds.
A wailing from the park that woke us all.

Heavy lidded like tired dolls.
When they recline, the eyes snap shut.

© 2008 Electronic Poetry Review