Fruit

As I slept hot leaden days
armed men pursued armed men
up hills, in caves
through notch and down river
coal heaved skyward
like a martyr’s black smoke
twisting hurriedly to heaven
women to proud to beg
sold roses under the overpass
parlayed oranges from tree to bread
as still others bartered their own fruit

As I slept hot leaden days
Arabs shrieked jets into ruin
toad’s caught in girls’ hands
were put on trial and found wanting
serene eyes observed
palm trees ablaze like torches
rat’s two-step rumba’d down the trunk
others panicked and leapt
envious of their flying squirrel cousins’
gift against gravity

As I slept hot leaden days
life flowed and changed course
meandering wide of my bed
leaving me like an oxbow lake
curled, fetal
in my molten slumber
my fight or flight response
to terrorists and to toads
to serenity and to pursuit
to heaven and to fruit I can’t afford even for free

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