Coarse Mode

A life measured by a pen
like a convict after death
feet describing ever smaller arcs
inches above a paper floor
that granting the slightest pressure
would have supplied life
but the body is dead
hung to dry
blood pooling in toes
spilling out through pin-prick fissures
drip, drip
dash, dash, dot
on the concrete
a ghost written message
for the eager grave
of Churchill, Sun Tzu, Lincoln
and a tapeworm
who fought the good fight
in a plague rat’s guts
who in turn bravely cursed, on his last breath
the vile fleas humanity
before his long red tongue
unspooled over his jagged
gutter-stained teeth
like a typewriter ribbon
waving over mountains
of crumpled paper balls
loaded up with important words
such as: fortitude, righteousness, solemnity
and God and bless and America
and those are our final letters
carved into rotting meat
lest we forget
this penned-up way of life
our way of life
written by the victors
defended by blood
drip, drip
dash, dot, dash


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