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Let’s just go out

                1.

He follows a colorless highway
   near the river’s glazed mirror
where ducks, pigeons, and cranes linger

He wakes in the morning and she’s gone
   No devices take him to her
no felicitous reprieves, no maps

He’s looked for her his whole life
   though he might have met her casually
once or twice or not, certainly not
The wretched city grinds and seethes
   It dulls his sad sensations
It’s all about hunger, denial and heat

                2.

She greets him with a rigid-faced smile
   like a hostess in a restaurant
or an airline attendant

Her son is narrow, prudish, hyper-religious...
   He jerks the ribbons and tears the paper
casts the scraps from his presents aside— 

What present can he even care about now?
   Everyone always lies to the General
Old, he can go up, down and sideways

but not forward...If it weren’t for the loud,
   martial, happy birthday, music
you could hear him grind his teeth

                3.

The psychosis of religious reverie
   extreme mischief in the brain,
scarred and tormented

Her clown face wears an unnatural expression
   distorted and grotesque
her anorexic body puffed up, bloated

No god to make everything clear
   no happy after-life
no heavenly reprieve
She appalls and repels like a distorted clown
   “You goddamned sons’ of bitches...”
Dead bodies swollen, discolored, stench on the ground

                4.
Brilliant secrets calcify with time, we
   seek subtlety, indirection, relative advantage
203 go into the fight, 95 killed or wounded

He hears metal doors slam behind him
   Her arid anorexic languor hard, oppressive, fixed
Sex is no cure for this despair

and no one will stand between us and death
   It takes just a moment of luck to deaden sensation
The numbers sometimes desert him

but they always come back and,
   they’re hungry for dollars here, so
let’s just go out and have a good time

-June 5, 2011-