The flared sun beats its skin-tight drum,
and I think how arrogant it is to be alive.
The blueberries are cultivating their beards
at the ice-domed back of the refrigerator.
Whose silence matters more — yours or mine?
We are still, and still breathing, but barely,
as the wheat gathers her skirts by the stream.
No prosody without blood or sweat, they say.
None of us can survive this heat for long —
yet the kitchen exists, and so we cook.
The tonic is laced with just enough gin —
even as nonsense contains its backwash of truth,
and so we are given what we always wanted,
tearing through Christmas paper to get the gun
we aim at classmates, flag unfurling its “Bang!”
Pull my finger whilst I talk into this banana.
Smell my flower while I sever a plastic thumb.
No circus can compete with the headless headlines.
No freak-show so freaky as the one behind shut lids.
One day they will bottle silence, and we will pay.
For now cool breezes exist for the price of taxes,
for now the stream gathers up acceptable losses.
I haven’t brought answers, just this deck of cards,
so we pass through the space between tick-marks,
mumbling through our hands a prayer for rain.