Paul Guest

The president is thick as the moon

is white and the river is wet

and the summer air is furious

and inside me are the germs

of beauty. Of violence. Or truth.

Let me tell you a story

is how all stories begin

in the darkness of the mouth.

Upon the tongue, which

in some locales is a delicacy.

What are you eating, brother?

What have you been reading?

What brought you to this pass?

This incredible time filled

with shadows that are not birds.

They are not birds, remember,

the clouds that go by,

and the sky which is stunning

and cruel and perfect

is not blue. Not tonight.

I will talk about love

until everything burns down

to absolutely nothing, to ashes

and embers and the dry noise

of destruction. I will talk

about the news and politics

and this horrible weather

called pain if first sleep doesn’t come

looking for my eyes. What

will I dream of? Horses

and the whispering rain

and a song just beyond hearing.


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