Flicker

 

 

 1

 

When it was them, our parents, dying,

the way they tried to deny what was happening,

 

the way they were angry at the wrong things

seemed of a piece with the way they’d always

been wrong about us, we thought,

 

the way they were wrong about the world

which they saw only through the haze

of their own swath of the past

 

so that it seemed natural for us to scoff,

inwardly, even at their deaths -

 

but now it was one of us threatening

to get up and walk out of the hospital

on his withered legs, sheer sticks,

 

because it was killing him.

 

 

    2

 

“Clouds of methane rise

from dumps” outside our city

 

as I drop a square of soft cheese

through a slot, 

into the bin marked

“landfill.”

 

 

    3

 

Of course

I feel bad

about feeling good

about feeling bad

about this -

 

but as time speeds up,

everything will flicker.

 

 

 

    Hate

 

 

The market hates itself

just as much

as you hate it.

 

Look,

in this spread 

for leather products,

a stern faced man

in pink pants

and a bomber jacket

stands on satin sheets

in front of leopard print

wallpaper

holding a small briefcase

or purse.

 

The market hates you

even more

than you hate yourself.

 

 

 

              Rankings

 

 

Screw smug survivors

talking about us

as if we weren’t quite

                                          here.

 

We never really loved them.

 

And screw time

which pancakes things

but also makes distinctions.

 

 

     *

 

We have time

to watch versions

then parodies

and rank them,

 

to play

pin the tail

on the apocalypse

 

and define our terms:

 

to engulf

is to cover

or surround;

 

a gulf

is a chasm

 

 

 

         Trellis

 

 

Sex is porn

when it’s over there

and flat.

 

Identity porn:

Debbie does categories.

 

I like mine tubular,

branched.

 

I prefer it

trellised,

 

small clotted

roses strung up

on iron bars

at the window,

 

their round heads

like children’s

looking in,

 

inappropriate.

 

Likeness is to truth

as red is to what?

 

Scent of truth

splashed over sentences.

 

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