It’s not language nor the attempt
at a joke: it’s lack of understanding
that dooms the animal crossing the road.
Still, the same oblivion awaits it
inside the slaughterhouse. Therefore
claims should not just be made
within reason, but more with respect
to circumstance. Like the assault
of a bird’s presence on your hand.
History is replete enough with
experts in numbers and trivia.
We forget the horror of another body
on the street. Or why we’re rifling
through money from China.
Nothing is after the fact, said
the ribbon from a gift being unraveled,
by the torn cocoon. The moment cannot
wait any longer than it should.
Blink and you’d forget the color
from a dream. Or miss the ant
crawling up the wall, its tiny body
an amber against the sunbeam.
Figures in the Static
We’ve all lost something, I tell
the blind. No purity exists
which we cannot claim erroneous.
Within the sky is another, the fire
keeps smoldering, and echoes
flourish beyond our hearing.
Yet the gaping hole that must
be filled in, because it’s unpleasant.
Instructions: plug a finger into the wound,
ready the newspaper. Outline the fallen
with chalk and walk with the others
to the cemetery. Be obedient.
Or wail with those left behind.
Grass grows past bullet shells
and it will take years before the child
truly learns how to count. It’s not
lightning but the quiet we cannot
bear, before thunder. Meanwhile,
the earth keeps sliding. Once,
we had but one body: of
water, land, root. Antlers
sprouted from a single beast.
Then light stuttered unto the one dark,
which is the first ambush.