The Mouth of the River of Death

chaffed, flogged, and veined with hurt
this rooftop
laid in cardinal directions
and raven shit
burns each day in the sun

the supine posture of humanity's mark
leering into mists of ozone and nitrogen
shining in spectra we don't see
the imported SUVs parked in
mobile malls and cuddle factories pant
and suck the migrant dust spiral
curling out the talk cavity of a West African lady named
the Seasons

with tiny rock hammers and their ornate finger nails
they pick and chisel our titulus
across pediments they've drawn on our foreheads,
and then ask where to put our pets and shampoo

give me something more
difficult than moving boulders in 70 below
or a pirate in the wash of Africa's crook
who moves to a starboard cavity for crying in the vastness of life

i watch a boy catechist pit the face of his
front tooth against the barbed bulb of a scorpion tail
and challenge his neighbors to unwind riddles
of wrath and sacrilege

a man like Stiltsken in stature and brains spies
a cleft in the overcast sky,
he's splayed beneath the cafe table on stone
and debauched by the nude blue
bending slightly like a letch
for his eye through a grip of glassware

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