POETRY

Names to Faces, Faces to Names

By

Have you seen X?
Missing person website,
vigil by candlelight,
their last effects

made souvenirs.
The system's talons stretch,
one's highlighted. Select,
Delete. We fear

the worst and search
no-man's land, abandoned
shed and turnpike island,
a burned out church

kids party in.
No sign, no goodbye note,
containers emptied out,
door left open,

gone who knows where.
Every livid ember
blackened ash, signatures
becoming air.

George Witte is the author of two collections, Deniability (2009) and The Apparitioners (2005), both distributed by Orchises Press; his new manuscript titled Does She Have a Name? is seeking a publisher. His poems have been published in numerous journals, and reprinted in Best American Poets 2007 and Vocabula Unbound. He received the Frederick Bock Prize from Poetry magazine and a fellowship from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts. For twenty seven years he has worked at St. Martin’s Press, where he is editor in chief. He lives with his wife and their two daughters in Ridgewood, New Jersey.

Have you seen X?
Missing person website,
vigil by candlelight,
their last effects

made souvenirs.