What PleasureS Remain / D.A. Gray



After the world caught fire we tried to laugh.
It wasn’t the old place; we would hide to laugh.

When up became down and left became right, he said,
‘worst apocalypse ever.’ She held her side to laugh.

Our protests drew sneers; still, we lined the city streets.
Angry men watched but never got -- we would have died to laugh.

What else can you do when the threads unravel?
This tapestry held once. We remembered; we cried. To laugh

seemed out of sync and yet necessary when talking
heads spoke. We fought the urge to remain inside. To laugh

became an act of revolution seeing no joy behind
the wheels of flag-waving trucks. We turned aside to laugh.

We still notice the glares, the gun bulges at the waist.
And on days the air feels heaviest, we decide to laugh.



D.A. Gray’s poetry collection, Contested Terrain, was recently released by FutureCycle Press.  His previous collection, Overwatch, was published by Grey Sparrow Press, 2011.  His work has appeared in The Sewanee Review, Rattle: Poets Respond, The Good Men Project, Still, and Literature and the Arts among many other journals.  Gray holds an MFA from The Sewanee School of Letters and an MS from Texas A&M-Central Texas. Retired soldier and veteran, the author writes and lives in Central Texas.