one thought to himself as I walked by, you little bitch.
Bulge-knobs of their guns made them aural,
made them real big machismo,
even the skinny ones, even the abstract.
A certain beauty in the duty of it.
Meanwhile he was broken, she was concussed,
and we returned home, gilded with what, safety?
In advance of danger
When the time comes all this
will be only shouts and disturbance.
How is it to have a body today
to walk in this city, to run?
To be strong and whole in daylight
is to be tapped perhaps for a blade
yet off into the air we’re sent
in flesh and kismet it is
if we’re in the right or wrong or right
school, office, market, concert, café.
Red velvet cells, the elemental oxygen
and pall of eyelids, fists, feet,
vivid apparitions of those who have jumped or fallen
in the jingle of no spring.
Existence is killing us.
I don’t want to see what can’t be unseen.
Nights we play the game of going to sleep,
expecting to wake up.
It was good getting drunk in the undulant city,
whiskey lopping off the day’s fear—
dawn came with an element of Xanax,
dusk came and I dumbed myself down.
Where there were brides, grooms,
these bored boysoldiers with iPhones and guns.
I’m a soft target, you’re a soft target,
and the city has a hundred hundred thousand softs;
the pervious skin, the softness of the face,
the wrist inners, the hips, the lips, the tongue,
the global body,
its infinite permutable softnesses—
soft targets, soft readers, drinkers,
pedestrians in rain;
in the failing light we walked out
and now we share a room with it
(would you like to read to me in the soft
would you like to enter me in the soft
would you like a lunch of me in the soft
in its long delirium?)
The good news is we have each other.
The bad news is Kalashnikov assault rifles,
submachine guns, pistols, ammunition,
four boxes packed with thousands of small steel balls.
those nazis, they knew what to do with a soft
I don’t know
what’s so neo
they seem a lot
like the old
nazis to me
shouting jews will not replace us
marching by my grandmother’s
pretty much the same
ought we to get going now
a good idea
Will we ever run out of days?
A new country, refuge,
a nuptial bed—
advance past the past
despite history fragility fear
she went for it
and birthed a soft target
dropped one spring
and she too was soft
the new body
plumping with blood
3 when it comes to this fleshed neck
7 there were real officers in the streets
21 those nazis, they knew what to do with a soft
31 America wants it soft
41 into the sheets we slipped, a crisis
53 the silence will be sudden then last
59 the snow goes to the gallows of a warm grass and what survives
67 don’t blame the wisteria
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