Stranger by Fay Dillof

Sometimes I imagine looking into the eyes of the stranger
who held the gun. Everybody is some kind of animal
when they dance. It’s not the gyrating body, humming
for its skin to be licked, bit, that I miss as I grow old but the possibility
of getting naked with anybody. I’ll never forget how,
at the funeral, one young man broke
away from the other drive-by survivors to embrace me
like a mayor, welcoming me into his terrible
and tender city. Here’s a thing that happens
the first time you watch someone you love
die: you exit the hospital, walk down the street, and see babies
and skulls in everyone’s faces.
Fay Dillof’s work has appeared in New Ohio Review, FIELD, Sugar House Review, Spillway, Mid-American Review, RHINO, Bellevue Literary Journal, Cortland Review, Harper Palate, and Shadow Graph, and been featured in Poetry Daily.