The World Without by Bill Glose

Next door, neighbors shuffle
junk in their yard, scrap metal
and rusted-out appliances
to resell on weekends.

Across the street, two girls
play hopscotch in a driveway,
screechy giggles trilling
through windows of our house,

where a ticking clock
stabs silence
like a needle
without thread.

Staring at the muted TV
as if scrolling text
might actually reveal
an answer, I sit beside Dawn,

her face blank as winter sky,
my hand on her thigh
like a pebble atop
a cemetery marker.