(In memory of Randy California)

On the morning after his death
the sun stopped rising;
it sat still on the horizon
staring red-eyed at the motionless dawn-

a bus standing in the shadows where
nobody waited;
a car idling alone at a light frozen red;
the howl of a siren
suspended in air like a note of his music,
waiting for the crisis to pass.

Nothing moved, not even
the image of him dancing across the stage.
I longed for a camera that would
hold the moment,
a recorder to save the sound of a world
holding its breath.

Dawn finally broke into daybreak.
I walked home along the usual route
but the city was transformed-
landmarks had vanished,
street signs twisted in wrong directions.
I have not yet found my bearings.

Sherman Pearl