This is the Place

This is the place where we congregate to shoot at hummingbirds.

Nearby, a man had his throat cut to spare us the discomfort of his cries.

Nearby, a child died on an empty belly, and his mother blamed changelings.

This is the place where first world problems take precedent,

where beasts of their own burden fake hatred and call it daylight.

Nearby, a woman was vandalized by a man with cataracts over his heart.

Nearby, a bomb drawn up by pimply kids in lab coats built another crater,

stirring up dust that doesn’t settle.

This is the place where Wall Street syndromes draw numbers with their magic markers

on the window overlooking the graveyard.

Nearby, a tomcat with a wack ear argued with sewer-rats over

which long dead Jazz man would win in a fight:

Armstrong? He put more life into one breath than was

spent on that soft-core porn story we lost our love to.

This is the place where people say: Work smart, not hard,

where we’d cut a coconut tree to get at its milk, rather than climb it,

where the quickest way from A to B is a straight line

and to stop and smell the roses is a waste of time.

Utility is our watchword. Well,

nearby, the flowers round gods’ necks turned into ash, and

nearby, a reckoning came for the old boys who never learned to be men, and

nearby, I heard the rustle of tiger-tanks waiting in the reeds outside my room.

This is the place; vultures flew over the walls, the endless barbed-wire fence, and

our drawn-on eyebrows melted in an oily hurricane.

Nearby, a baby smiled, and brutes blinked in the tenderness.

This is the place.

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