Coffin trim | To walk out on that stage | into the blast of lights | stand | serene as a flower | and calm as the quiet | reaches of a great river | coated in white powder | roseate rouge for life | Cocoon | sliced through so we may see | the nascent butterfly | that Moses boat | and alien womb | in one | So, the floods come, the villages and towns | cling to their steeples | outlying farms | cut off | highways submersed | A stink of mud and worse | but when the storms pass | in the stillness all aftermath | the fields hold their glass | to the noonday sun | and our room | on the first floor | is so hot | we have a little crimson | we can dip and slick | a smidgeon of purple | to wetten, to scent | double shot blooms | to grip and cut | while the choppers grind | through the humid air | why don’t we | take advantage | of these changed conditions? | No need of lines | not even of silence | yes, in the quietest | reaches of the river | like stars pinned up | on children’s walls | the wings opening | and the wings closed | a book of flicker and gem | right there | beyond the music | and the words | we’ll show ourselves | now, and again | for soon | really soon | there is no afterwards

Out of the skull | sweetness came | Among the casinos and the hyper-malls | old values walked | Pride | came before a fall | and the fall | kept rising | as an option | a habit | so bad | it seemed structural | We were dripping | into our lions’ maws | dropped wildebeest and Pepsi | caffeine, chrome and nitrogen | a steady pour | to sate our hunger, but | it never did | Orchids in the meadows | drowned cattle | in the soft mud | where the river | bends and slows | our SUV | wiping the locusts from the screen | crunching them, but the sheer | numbers diminished our visibility | Built inside | an echo not a voice | and not a day a dream | we house our moments | with no sight of what lies beyond | what spawn or cull | just the chain of ants | hefting the vast wing | of a butterfly’s corpse | and out of the sweetness | coming skulls

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from the series fleeting pixel (series of 1,000 poems, 2012–2016)

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