GULLS IN THE CROSS-FIRE by Neeli Cherkovski


down go the bead-makers
and kneaders of bread, up in
the ninth heaven, a panther
licks her wounds

gulls die in the cross-fire
penguins quietly disappear
it’s the happy birthday of desire
but no candles are to be lit

nobody is coming to save
those dying birds, no one will
stop the grand power of the heat
that tears everything apart

slowly, inevitably, every
blade of grass sickens, glass
globes shatter, micro-chips
turn into glowing coals

a breeze kicks in at Land’s End
people go to their cars
except for 2 men who disappear
and never come up for air

one wore a golden ring
the other was tall lean and bald
the sun was falling onto the hills
across the estuary in Marin

that’s how it is, so lonely
twined and inter-twined
the Queen of Hearts a faggot
and the miserable millions

go out, scream
and think of shouting, come
river, jangle luck,
allow for our failures

think of the ups an downs
of Emmett Kelly sad clown
who left the circus dead
while the old century bled

think of Ez in his open cage
like a beast, translating China
concentric rings of power
and a light on the swamp

a lady pining-away for love
long lost, growing old, keeping
pace with moon and sun
and dreams that only writhe

the leopard dies, no more cats
on the wild end, only people
standing in line, no one fakes
the miracle, ask Dante, go ahead

always good people die, do
bad people die? cancer never
ends, is there a cure? this cosmos
is going to lie down and die

please respect the trees and bushes
give room for the smaller birds
who need to roost, the grackles
in front of Peet’s Coffee for sure

see their bad ass wings touch the
air as they pass, throw an ax
at the sun, now the raven spits blood
and goes down to darkness

March 12, 2013

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