Brother To A Dry Tongue

There, against the rotting pillar, stands our uncle. Is he angered over the events of the last hour? A devastation seemed to settle on his face like a charred bird alighting on a sinking ship. Great fellowships he has known are dead and there is an emptiness in his coat now. Electricity. In several years, we will remember this moment as clearly as if we had taken snapshots: the brokenness of a man who held us as children, who fed us macaroni and cheese on weekends. His hunger is an ignored nuisance. Mouth cannot know loneliness, heart is only a thing pumping under ribs, ears are full of cold air.


That Is Not Chalk

Probable fictions are littered across the pavements of this city, so thick in places that the tread of our name-brand sneakers is thwarted, filled with the muck of it. The trajectories we walk are indistinguishable from each other. On restless days when the mundane complaints of walls and machines live like rashes on our skin, every surface suitable for human foot traffic is coated in a greasy film of benign lies, imaginery terrors, olfactory violences, and partially hydrated laugher. We carry our daughters and sons and leave anxious pets to the houses we've abandoned, where they soil the windows with the moisture of their noses.
I have seen men fight on these days, driven to a murky anger by the crowds of aimless pedestrians. They throw clumsy fists at each other. They lock their arms together, they grunt out misty exclamations of saliva, they clutch at coats and pants. They fall to the ground, to the tacky paste of our futures. They smear it on thair faces and execute the fiercest of blows with their knees, elbows and foreheads. Their blood flows to the ground and mingles with the pulverized fiction and it is a stench to be surrounded in. We watch and we cannot think of doing otherwise until the beaten figures exchange hoarse apologies. We remember the purposeless wandering we have forsaken, and we resume it. Until the machines come with the fall of night, we sweat in the mingled heat of our bodies.


Burning Pillow

I know the voices. Know the voices of the soil's darkness. The voices crammed together in the air around our ears. Voices unhearable in stone like stones in clasped hands. They tell stories of endless brutality, of the greed of jaws and the anger of bloodied feet. There is fire so sudden it does not exist. Before tenderness was a possibility, this fire was alive in our lidded eyes. I close my eyes and hear the guns screaming our names.