by Michael Wright


oh, woe to the woeful,
aloe to the alone,
tissues for the tears,
this bitch world on its knees,
the danger of want,
bruises of desire,
effort of loving in
sapping of disappearing
the tawdry milling of
bodies on dance floors
and sandy beach patios,
how sex and love insinuate
from empty pelvic bowls
and voices rise in chorus
asking, wasn’t there something
there once?  wasn’t there?
everything boils down to flesh,
to the glisten of what might
be sweat or anguished rain,
the cry, howl, the desperation
shriek of the forlorn
shriven with nothing left
to confess,
the fit of hats on down-bowed
shading neither brain nor smile
nor wisdom eyes,
only lidding the lizard-pale.

oh woe for the worst
of every column that will
not add up;
a toast:
to confusion,
to clenching down for place
on a spinning globe,
to cracked-open sunday
tasting of the last ash of night,
buried, amen,
beneath the times.

have pity,
for those who drop
to earth from the
straining womb,
tears at the ready,
fists curled for the wars
to come.

Originally published in This Land: Summer 2015.