Daily Archives: May 9, 2022

Custody

That we do not understand 
how much of
each of us 
is already in custody

is the great triumph of an Enemy
we cannot see as an Enemy
because we have such
a broken definition of that word.

Each day that passes
is tacked on to our sentences,
even though we see
neither walls nor gates.

It’s all
in our heads, they tell us,
as if the bars and locks
are less effective because of that.

All night the screaming
elsewhere, but still in here.
Is it getting closer or is it all
in our heads, as they’ve said?

All night inside our heads, as they’ve said.
We wonder where it’s coming from.
It sounds so close. So familiar, close enough
to catch us by the throat and squeeze.


But Hey, We Did Get Out And Vote

In the beginning,
after the collapse became
inevitable, no alien hand
reaching in to stop it,
we kept using words like
“awakening” and “rebirth,”
but no one really wanted that
if it meant things would look 
truly different.

In the beginning,
after the birds fell silent
and the seas turned gray
and hopeless, after we began 
to notice the voice
of flatline in the wind, 
people said that was a song,
a new song, and it would be
alright sooner or later —
but none of them were singing
and that should have been a clue.

In the beginning,
once it had become clear
that hope would be a mistake
unless it was a hope of complete
erasure and restart, we kept at it
with chants and the like 
for a time. We did all
the small things
we were asked to do even after
it became obvious it wasn’t going 
to be enough. 

In the beginning,
we sat in the ruins 
of the time before
and did all the same things
and hated all the same people
and shit in the same holes
we’d always filled with our shit
before. We looked with disfavor
upon what we’d wrought and then
wrought it again in a slightly 
cleaner form until the true beginning
took us away from it and put us
in the garbage by ourselves
to dwindle as the new day began
to brighten and there we stayed until
finally we were gone.