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                            






along the fault line's pensive crease,

filling enigmatic drudgeries with clashing tints




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


                                                                             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          


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