Monday, February 16, 2009

malachi (2)

all of these small cancers
and all of these smoldering remains
and all of the bodies

all of the ways that each one
matters more than war

and these words
which do nothing but scratch feebly
at locked doors

these dogs
who are starving slowly

who are chained to the passing days

and this is not a poem but
an explanation
or possibly an apology

it's my mind
refusing to sit still while
the first big storm of the year

and there is a man who writes to say
that he can't make sense of
any of this

you need punctuation
he says
and you need flow
and you need to stop worrying
pollock's bones

and there is a four year-old boy
on fire
on the other side of town

his mother held back by the neighbors
while the roof collapses

some small tragedy with no meaning
and maybe these are all we
have left in this year of election

streets littered
with the corpses of soldiers or
this man who murders his
pregnant wife

the woman he fucked
two months earlier who says she
just wants to be left alone

who says the walrus was paul

says you have to look for the clues

the open hand or the third eye
or the burning cross

the way america is defined
by its history

the way christ's teeth have been
filed down to dirty yellow points

and do you fall to your knees when
he smiles
or do you turn away in shame?

consider your answer

consider the act of rape being
filmed for the internet

the way names are kept hidden
out of fear
and out of shame

your children growing up with
nothing more than
the wreckage you've left them

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