There’s a loud cry, and then the word scatters to all parts of the song

A woman steps out of the car, one foot | out of the door |     | It isn’t fire washing down the street, not today | There is peace in the centre

A man gets into a car, it isn’t the start | of a joke |     | People in the back of a van carry guns | Their faces are covered |      | Graves draped over them

Children are lined up, rising on the escalator |     | They each have ideas, can we not be | a little sentimental | on this day, of all days?

A bag, and a loud bang | We walked by the storm in the novel: More detonations, and the sound of the giant dice of thunder, softened by distance, rolled and re-rolled and faded across the valley. | I touched your arm

A song with moonlight, Americana and cocaine | Another song, with God and heaven |     | We are stirred

First, there’s no reason at all | Later, we have ideas: we can be better, we can forgive, or be more tactical

There’s a rush, and the buildings begin to flatten | in a wave |      | sunlight, in the window of a department store, she dawdles, you |      | tug at her | trying to draw her | away

History pours in where the song | gets fused with metal — no angels for Papa, no bliss for Drug Boy, mango for Sheila

A rush of hush, like a spurt of soda water |     | Then come the trees, to begin again with forest

You don’t |     | normally sing, but now, you start singing | and crying |     | I’m not sure | we deserve to cry? — after what we’ve done?

Folding the world into our sleep | by the edge of the sea | under the water | we can’t speak

History pours out where the cry fades | the Underground begins to empty

Crude graves, with no time |     | to dig better

You hang on, and you don’t | stop singing | but you do | stop weeping | and because you keep | singing | though your voice is growing hoarse | and neither you, nor I, know if we’re right | or wrong | or even if | wrong or right | comes into it, now |     | still, I am stirred

For a moment

the song scatters to every part of the word