Segue to Baghdad

by Vernon Frazer and Michelle Greenblatt

 

The gathering serpentine haze

shatters sunset's fragile last shimmer

a blaze long past razing.

Any glimmer brings memory

to a standstill among jonquil condoms

dispensed with alacrity

                                    and a coin machine

                                    which does not return change

                                                /

as expected, but forces

 

change upon the crashing warnings of                            

 

                                                      illumination

                                     wavering

electrostatic

 

along the fault line's pensive crease,

filling enigmatic drudgeries with clashing tints

 

sharing

                        \

a course that enrages

                        /

                                                a nation in flight

 

from one another who both

turns to the lilting left and resting

right northwards as needed southwards

as sought after--as a glyph that tells itself

over /

          over until the thick coils

of darkness recede

 

                        westward \

                                                training wagons

                                                fading in the sun

                                                set upon tables

                                                                        oiled yet scrapped

                                                                        in need of iron(ing)

while the artillery smoke hangs

                       /

over the exploded body parts

and

                                                                             I can see / my insides

                                                                                          on the sand;

during all the glory, the stars

                                                             stripes and parades, nonsense

is offered freely by the government  who takes

just enough care to show shadows

                                                            to membrane thickets, the mottled minds,

                                                            the mangled bodies

                                                                                                /  all on course          

                                                                        stayed

steadfast & true                                

 

to the body bags they lie

in (courtesy of car bombs

& Halliburton) state, lies

 

                                                as bullets        \          strayed

                                                 through undue perforations

                                                in the slither-flattened dust