Girls in short shorts;
legs like shotgun barrels
sequestering any kind of desirability that
youth and beauty are prerequisites to relevance;
an auspice for being.
Flying high over an echo,
the girls want not to be dead heroes as they amble
through gutters choked with locks of hair
from the children they will never see.
Hands bunched in pockets,
they stand outside their local museum of purgatory
as a concierge would.
Gales of laughter rip through idle air;
fainéant in their falls of sound.
They seek the moon and shun the sun
and eyes dash about like hunted hares
waiting to be shot in a wood of time lost.
Though the ticking hand of life is a hair-trigger,
they are fond of predicting when they will fall off the edge of the world;
their pink legs swinging, skin a galaxy of scars,
singing, I am the verse: bleed, stitch, repeat.
But they are mothers; they are animals.
And animals are women
with their swills of tears and breasts piled high;
cauterised souls, brains braided from too many pills.
They would sooner crawl into the sun than fall from the tree.
One walks the hem of earth, shutting off the lights
readying for the tacenda that will come.
Not today, she says. Perhaps another time.
fought my own shadow of the Shibboleth
descried the call for a goon
cast my eyes upward to see the branches of winter trees,
mottled with snow like a convivial pulse having fallen
from the sky with an empty wind not far behind.
For now, you must swing low; scooping fistulas of memory
to shake the tree with the eagles nest.
Knowing there is no holiday for the dead
(for it hurts to walk into a chapel)
that stepping stone was never made for your feet,
for we were always going to be hurt by the things we never saw coming.