Seeing You Even When You’re Gone

Time will bring relief, you all have lied
   –Edna St. Vincent Millay

On the freeway, a cop cruiser pulls beside me in the hiss
of water—In the backseat a young man; the slouch of head,
shoulders the slump of heart on that long ride makes this
dark afternoon sadder than I can nearly bear.

And the Bible verses come as I knew they would,
closing the distance between the uncountable stars
and the bare walls of your cell—you tell me to read
Job, The Psalms.  And why does god not free the imprisoned?

Where is the passage of the father who called the Romans
to take his son?  Where is the absolution for that act? 
Where is the guard who has decided to release this son
to the world?  Tonight, there is no calm to close the gap

between the constellations of my guilt and the open fields
the dog and I walk, under the steel sky that has beat us all day.