If They Come in the Morning

In the fugue states war crimes are prosecuted impartially.

It’s only natural to fill the gaps.
The tesselated craters in your memory
Where the hits just keep on coming night
After night are like the edges of those old maps:

Here be the dragons

Of lost time—five minutes here, three hours there
Jumping the turnstiles to a landscape
Where nightmares would be a relief.

Always waking in some slant light
To check and sniff your hands, your crotch
For blood, semen, or swelling

Can make you long to live off the grid
In some shaven solitude where the finer points
of dear and cheap sluice through the moral gates
Of the most coarsely drawn boundaries.

Back on the mainland, where salt accrues meaning
Only in a village that lacks iron
And free is the word for both libre and gratis

The difference between ripped off and left alone
Blurs in the vestments of the analyst’s couch
Where value forms in the synapses of endless exchange.

In the lacy jags of the waking states
The supply side origins of nightmares and metaphors
The rogue hours, the minutes taken off the books
Swell with substance and the hallowing of fear.
There are no gaps where language knits accounts.

R. D. Girard | Mudlark No. 21
Contents | Chuck Taylor’s All Stars