REQUIEM FOR BLUE FEATHERS
“I’m not even trying,” Azalea said, as she zeroed in on the target.
Everyone was either limping or crawling
through the last five miles of the day. Our mouths were dry
with the dust of past generations. Dreams had been kicked
and scrambled into oblique forms against the red roofs
of our town. Oceans were being drained
to re-fill the old vat of marketable rebellion.
There was no separation between the senses.
“Too many outfits,” someone else said,
as Azalea lifted off the ground in her blue swan feathers.
The dark November wind had settled her breathing
back into fire. We took bets to see which alley she’d turn up in.
I couldn’t decide whether to turn away from the view or be sick
in my socks. It was getting colder and all the tattooed
lovers were selling their stocks to keep their place
in line before she crashed.
“It’s a world economy now,” I said, burying my father’s
hospital bills in the backyard. Every hour was sponsored
by Microsoft or Mobil. We wore sandwich boards to work
to ward off the inquisitors: “I am not a socialist.”
Meanwhile, I dreamed of Azalea’s blue flight
as the last editions of independent thought
caught between my teeth like raw meat. For now,
we wake to the lovesick strains of mediocrity
rubbing its dreary wings together.