where the old road curls into pale blue sky
where rock and pine distill a blurred horizon
backs bend and are divided into valleys
glorified in a field of flags
the Tyrant marches in tight ranks
spells out MOTHER, DIGNITY, FORCE
the story goes like this:
only a hungry ear, a mouth
law speaks in quivers, whips
line by line months break
(here is no child’s game)
incessant in smiles the Tyrant governs
a fist of furrows, knobbed, arthritic
—No peasants, no sepulchres, no bones. A tower, open-mouthed, with no one above its crater.
—No soil that speaks of living, no deity that trains the dying.
—Ruins of a luxury hotel wither two hundred years in the fields. Such is a hospitality of vestiges. Such is finesse. The lastingness.
—Fearful of fevers, no one enters.
—In such peasantless fields, wounds gape uninhabited.