A hum of current like a gander biting 

at its feathers. A curious dipole. 

The voice of the coalition the voice


in a square of pale limestone walls 

that conceal a magnet. Her arms 

and legs crawled back to land. 


My mama. Vetiver and carnations on the table

with her, her crepe dress, her mouth 

like a crane’s shadow. Buried ten years. 


My wife is there smoking on the dark 

porch in her nightgown, each pore 

a magnet, a white pocket, an animal’s 


white eye, a spot of mold. I went into 

the battlefield, naked and rolled 

in a wet flag, kissing soldiers,


humming, licking the living men, 

writing on their armor, I rest my eyelids 

against their eyelids. The magnets come on. 


The pleasing lights. The coalition swallows

and shivers, rolls back on its gristle. I want 

to go back to my wife. She is there smoking 


on the dark porch in her nightgown, 

her muscled thighs mirrored and silver-plated, 

her face the murky surface of a shield.








Subdued, I am a cold solid, a history of networks am

                                                 a silverplated coil by 

terror stretched

                                                                                                    the common fissure         a melted partial gloss

that crossed                    anchored in the upper camp                    forgetting ice floe stung with weeds with

liberty, theatre


                  spiders in the pure wet and warm those hammock-hands those soldiers how they

found you palatable

                                                                                                    will find you palatable

time would not have been the only nail on which to hang it 



from precepts flung as crushed light         the scanning hook

                                                                places where the founders’ clothing         hung off where I could see

the rings of structure through it      and hear 

                                                                                                 the republic.

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