local_library There He Goes

by Ted Burke

Published in Issue No. 204 ~ May, 2014

my brother was born dead

and walked before me

into the desert as stars fall

over a flat, black land

occupied with cactus and

polished animal skulls.


he looked more like me

than I ever resembled

our father or mother,

his eyes were solid marble

spheres blessed with

mineral waves of green

that saw through the mountains

and over the wide lakes,

which were dry and cracked

like boots made of old skin.


i followed him under the stars

that fell before the jeweled city

in the desert, followed him through

a door that closed after him,

I pushed it open, and pushed some

more , and he was gone

as dust , the generations of old cells,

covered his tracks,

laughter ringing through canyons,


bird calls and then the sound of waves

as my eyes sagged toward

the sleeping ground,

a boat followed the

white path the moon

cast on the black water,

my brother had climbed

the other side of the mountain

he saw through, sailed on the lake

that was dry, walked from

the desert that called him

for years when there was no life

in cities or the tools of his drugs,


i will see you , he says

and leaves me again,

a sheet over his face,


i will see you

on feather beds

when you lay down your harp

and unpack your bag

and take the rocks

from your shoes.

account_box More About

Born in Detroit, Michigan, Ted Burke now lives and writes in San Diego, California. He is a bookseller, writer, poet,blues musician and visual artist and has worked as music, book and movie critic, carnival worker, warehouse manager, editor and singer/harmonica player in occasional bands.