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By Robert Borgatti

the year of disappearing
begins like any other
with the simple click of a second hand
and the distant toll of bells
but stars are falling from the sky
and you mistake them for snowflakes
each one an unanswered prayer
that dies on the dark, wet pavement.

the year of disappearing has 12 months like any other
but each month is a thousand days
and all those days are yesterdays
you want to bring them back
tune them in like favorite reruns
on an old black and white TV
the one on the dusty workbench in the basement
but all you can see are smears and shadows
all you hear are wisps of distant chatter
that drift in and out of the static
channel after channel
till the knob comes off in your hand

and in the year of disappearing
ghosts pose as trees in your backyard
from our kitchen window
you watch them shimmer in a listless breeze
they are tired and have taken refuge there
after a long trip through the heavens
their branches dangle stars and planets
and their roots ensnarl skulls and bones
you know because you have dug the dirt around them
looking for your former life
but this is all you've found

ROBERT BORGATTI is a professor in the Digital Media Program at Niagara County Community College and co-editor of Slipstream Magazine. This poem was inspired by a photograph by Buffalo artist Irene Haupt entitled "Inside Out."

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