Patience Is No Virtue

Two long steps back the way he came and they shot him down, open palms pale in the afternoon. We are bricks and mortar, long panes of glass yearning for the stone, smoke against the streetlights.

Helicopters over freeway entrances, fists raised on car roofs, banners and voices chiding artists from the gallery. Hang your heads and hide your eyes; you have not bitten deeply enough, stared long enough. This ground is lent, never sold.

Throats locked and pulsing to bridle the train, a straw laid across the elephant’s lip to bind it still. Three feet forward or back could kill. Voices speak and speak and speak. Fires buried in weeks of slow process and new madness. The wall persists.

Milk-eyed. Barricades before the rich part of town. The river rises in the drought and beats against cracked banks. We speak now of water rights: who was here first may sink wells fathoms deep. You can set your watch by it.