~ The Bones of War
There were men sitting, crawling, clawing through
the pale lumber of naked streets replete
with nails. Nails of magnitude,
scarred with defeat,
stiffened through the root-burst pavements
to the vacant moon and lonely
catapults of the sky.
And there they lie, scathing,
a backdrop to the black, black veil of a
midnight so dark it demands a reason why.
A new moon perhaps, but more.
As if blackness can be defined
in the corners of the men deep
in their terpsichorean rants,
their boiling obsessions jazz-
like; — riffs of their groined efforts
only propel their loneliness
instead of expelling it like their
Back, back into solitude and moisture,
the dank, rank, lank bodies of
man-handled boys running into the
blood-cold streets, drifting,
sifting, gifting the earth,
burning flowers for the lost.
Of gloves, hands, veins, prints
these wagers of fisted war
against the nailed bones of night;—
the men, the boys are whirling,
the dervishes of strange delight,
the union of souls fleeing bodies,
fleeing the sea of others’ rage
and making, making, making music
of witnessed decay.
And there they lie, criminally shy,
mouthpiece to the black, black veil of a
doubt so dark it demands a reason why.
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