And in tiny town,
a basket of withered fences and
some poplars cased in translucent
street lamps bearing away the
night cracking open the number
three hundred in neon
above a face in the window, making
a hundred lives in the head calling
Another house, in clay askew,
a woman in a tin suit
has cried for seventeen years.
Her husband's dead, son in jail,
and the prison death-squad hot seat
buzzes in anticipation.
Like death itself, on a constellation stallion,
in rides the yellow-gray moon.
Then fitful sleep, another dream
of throwing herself at the
On to the Galaxy Bar
where pensioned off empire builders
battle scruffy young turks
for the right to be the most beast
tattooed arms, roaring tongues,
and battered heads
where somewhere gets lost in
Midnight moves in for its piece of the bloody action.
A black pall covers all,
The holy man of all faiths
almost choked on his last prayer,
has grown fond of mocking God,
besides, he figures, he's light
beyond His fiefdom anyhow.
Backwater religious life's all tinkling censer,
busted Bible pads, croaked Koran,
sagging pews, tattered Torahs,
and a Hindu deity with more heads
Father, cry the voices from the houses:
There's a woman, and she has sinned
There's a man, and he's alone.
A harsh wind is all that answers the call.
He's the silent standard-bearer
for a stone-deaf religion.
Bad news from the mines:
the ore is almost tapped out.
How long before mines close,
executions are fast forwarded,
executives go home with their
miners take their cancers
the drunks, the hopeless, scratch
wonder where everybody's gone?
Even the rats are counting down the days.