Gallowdance

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Bobbing ringlets of white-clad maidens

greet the assembled throng

a body in motion

a shroud that is static

chorus of cawing

tempered

by impotent glares

a half-hushed twilight of

remembrance

resuscitated glass yoked to concrete

mirrors meet in

cloven identities masquerading

as marketable commodities

on this phantom, a breeze

from this phantom, the keys

to the door of self-immolation

Unquiet city, but slumbering nation

force fed unpalatable

draughts of security

in the oceans, aghast submersibles

in the skies, leaden aimlessness

in the earth, decaying pharmaceuticals

in the molten core, outraged unshut mandibles

chewing, but not digesting

herding, but not assimilating

the maidens’ frenzied dance

accompanied by manic tempo

a symphony of spent crowds

grasping

clubbing

smiting

all traces of wonderment

in the children’s smiles

and placid dreams of tidy

plastic toy houses—the bulbous shutters

that fail to prevent the

coming in of

the cold on this wet afternoon

when the miasma shivers and expands

exhuming old embraces

to the arid light of

regurgitated progressivism

A bleak wind uplifts the skirts

of the dancers,

exposing their marble-white thighs

and to untold generations of

seekers

the lies

plunging from knotted ropes

youth’s festering hopes

the winds thrust

collective nausea

billowing

billowing

and the sleet smears my

tears with

the faded breaths of lovers’ echoes

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