The deliberate elephants, caressing their old bones,
are slated for the unveiling of a microscopic toy
that can eat our tumors, and the humpbacks
hauled through their migrations, will hang on
till we can travel from Minsk to Sao Paolo in an hour.
In the next wave, a falsehood will take root,
leading us away from strawberries.
Within a generation, they will take their place
among the sumacs and moonseeds,
and no one will possess their secret knowledge.
And further down the road, the little octopodes
will inhabit crude shelters above the tideline,
aggregate of stones and paste of algae,
and their shapes will form the rudiments
of a future writing system more beautiful than this.
The Buzzing Is Incessant
“I am not a gun.”
—The Iron Giant
Mayday. I would like to apologize. Mayday.
The buzzing is incessant. It could be very far —
I cannot tell. There are warnings stenciled
on tiny placards inside me. I am sorry.
I can barely make it out: it is a lizard
on the sand. It is a distance of — I cannot tell.
My orders come by point of sale, and I obey.
I train my bottle green eye on the wedding
where I find you. I cast the elongated shadow
of a crucifix upon the dunes. Once again,
I would like to apologize. It is the man
in the room, not me, his boyish face
lit by screen light far away, meaty digits
at the joysticks, not me, who sneaks on in.
Who’s that, you say? I cannot tell. It is
a lizard on the sand. Dearly beloved,
do you have a telephone that I could use?
I can still hear the buzzing. It isn’t me.
Can’t you read? There are warnings clearly
stencilled on tiny placards under my skin.
I am sorry. What more do you want from me?
There Sure Are A Lot Of Sirens Tonight
The little window by the bed is open
so we can hear the ambulances
travelling the avenues like Pac-Man
swallowing the heart attacks
and domestic incidents, the ghosts—
pink and blue, red and orange—
just far enough from our sleep
that it’s hard to feign concern.
How can we make it better? Maybe
if children were driving the ambulances,
wild boys and girls, the sort
who chew straw and smoke fat
stogies in the Land of Toys, drunk
on beer and hooting hee-haw
through the windows, their small ears
lengthening to equine points.
Rough kids who phooey the cops
and vanish with the advent of colour,
maybe they could crow fiercely enough
to gather all the broken moms and dads
back to their own realm, telling
just enough lies to keep themselves
out of trouble, and just enough jokes
to keep the ghosts from our bed.