Friday, November 19, 2004

Unidentified Strangers

The contract, binding hand and foot –
that ought to comfort you. We’re a nation of law
drawn to scale the mirror simply to become the case
as a nod to sacrifice
maybe maybe maybe I can be more clear.
No eye’s the eye to understand it
rots the body out
to our people to obey the law that ought to
stand your ground as burial in view of
motel rooms during demolition if I
maybe maybe I can be more
this tiny body
for another passage And the representative spirit, bursting
out of the domestic analogy, into the crawlspace
or the walls, the staircase, molten glass
by which one fixes residence.
The instructions went out to our people
with short-haul freight: sewer sludge, cable spools, tons
of labor, of such navigation past
the water-stress against the crumbling earthen foot
could be some divine strength, so look,
it’s cool. It just got way too difficult
to adhere to law. That ought to comfort you
by diffraction – the anthem draws a line
of camps a writing on the plain: forms
the word a million tongues have slithered up me
to economize the virtualities of space
until a lateral wall should stretch us wide
– a razor in the mouth cut trenches for the disarmed dead,
the cast-off gun or less
exact what’s left the object-form says you, says we
are a nation of law. We adhere to
the ceiling, thrust down on us like doubt.

To hang on for as long
as this to grommets at the banner’s edge
The child – through phases of the satellite feed …in
and out – it’s all one, if not yet all the same for each
what started when we thought the air a dome
and singing on a sparkling marble stage
cut shares of living space in half-hour slots.
Nudity peels off a skin enfolds the screen that other room
– like for like, can’t leave. Each single wiry hair pricks the palate
where they dance and fuck, adhere to laws. We have
laws on the books. You might look at
relocation, survival of the fields and shops of process
is a landscape picture indistinct from land.
Wring the hands like cane shared flesh or shred pitched brick
builds the heart of town, the streets
a grievance in the human face
are soot to suck from pores…gray water
in the single instance, flee the lip
to be united. The solid state, crushed together
in the living pharaonic tomb, while the soil subsides
just prior to events. I know precisely how

to show you. I don’t understand
how we are many – we burn along the shore
without examining the same.
We were interminable in this place this cage might look at
those laws might provide comfort
to the citizen renouncing membership,
her mouth congested with a tongue
troweling mortar on its own teeth –
right down the town’s throat.
Ample and uncharted in that night,
an expansive list of charges offscreen the love offering
steadfast hand in dying fires
and dark matter or dark matters
to the body huddled in a rug
pulled out into its own sore sum.

But the mouth breaks in two, and then you pay for dental work.
Teeth come forth come out furrowed undead legion, rooting
in the juice of function – a handful of metal a metal hand
comes down on the brow as our reverse. Whatever
adheres to law that ought to comfort you
do such things to help remember us
who didn’t pay. But someone did. Along the walls
hands trail unraised, grope on your behalf …was faking dead
An instrument, curved behind, recalls us to our threshing:
work… and I’m tired of it and I’m tired I’m tired and
your tongue’s cold track drying in my palm shared flesh belongs
by weight of die and press, shreds matted in the hair,
to you, working on it now up close – explosive it as good belongs
to me: the rifle round, my terror reflex, we hail this ghost


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