A War-Time Parade
Tell me I’m still here Am I still here? YES!
& everyone I know is marching toward
me: my friends family my father's face
right there & exploding with delight for
having recognized me so—alright! Laugh?
I glimpse this minute your syrupy skull
bobbing along & cracking itself half-
open into a grin Who can still tell
if that’s my arm waving HELLO? You who—
yooo whooo—can you? A grand storm of debris
fires through the air They are chucking balloons
& tiny crimson stars down city streets…
This time the master marshal’s lost his head—
he’s down on his knees bleeding out dead-ends.
I am aware of birds in the gutter as I awake The sounds they make I am aware of the static of my own sounds—a blank new quiet A warning from above—& from below Look: there are dark soldiers at my back—they compose an army This morning I am aware that if I take one step forward they will take one step forward If I take one step back I will join them