August 17


In the river glass he sees war go by
in colors flat as paint chips, the moon
hanging dry and eyeball white
between two black branch cracks
so serene as to call up memories
of bodies hanging at the walls by bullet holes.

After come faces that smile then glower
at the stars, roll away and call deep
to the sleeping stones. Bone chips,
then, turning with the steady current
like compass needles. Igneous cities, human
elbows treated with scrapes nudging
the twinking light into the shapes of sea green fish.

Obsession like ribbons of yesterday
when he beat his head against a wall
come with the sound of distant booms
that shake the falling leaves in their cups of silver air.

Such lavish depth in the quiet glass, such acidity
in the glitter, bright with organic sludge.
He senses a drift in the continents, some offset
to the geometry of galaxies and their modest tug
on the blood behind his eyes and the water
where a finger’s traced a multitude of lives
ascending on the canvass. He raises a hand,
salutes the vines, and descends to his eyes into the cold.

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