Shovelling flowers into a grave, the summer garbage | swelled by strikes, my fingertips | upon your ankles | What was it about the hardness of the bone | I couldn’t believe? | Shipping the oars | the water, sumptuously plain, and flat, and smooth, from deep in the forest | a woodpecker’s brief | hollow hammer, then the day | very still again, as if | the air was entirely full | Another week without emergencies, airport firecrews | spent their time in checks and drills, you were quiet | I felt a little lost, you gazed at me | so solemnly, as if | the game was up, somehow | and the government | put troops out on the streets | to bolster an order we largely | detested | We are all police now | you said, I wasn’t sure | what you meant | but I nodded | Tidying our ideas | into a locker | our love had become like one of those | derelict buildings | engulfed by graffiti | frequented by foxes | Finding your body, lapped by darkness | stale | images of tongues | the stout | bud of the penis | programmed to advance | our place in nature, until | at last, all the children are born | all the family trees | unfolded to their full extent | and the sterility of completed things | sends us back, haunting the vast | playgrounds of our memories | chalked | squares on the tarmac like an alien sign | When language came, it came all at once | and the apes began | to be puzzled by their own | singing | What was it, hiding | inside, or outside, or | beyond the music – so | fraught with time and alternatives? | I carry the scrap of my own | spirit around in me | a sound of particles of debris | soughing and scraping | sometimes I spread articles out and | sift through them | giving the teaspoon a drawer, the sultana an epoch | When the situation | worsened, justice gave way | to force | even battle became | a kind of opium | the futility deepened like drifts | in a blizzard | armies | went into it | and never | returned | I left you, bare and | desolate | today | you claim the state | of victim | so, I guess, I must be | the criminal? | I am Richard III | once more | enlightened to the grace of horses | We are | each thing’s conclusion in our jump and sway — both true and | absurd | Look, how you treat these words

 


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

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