By Douglas Barricklow
Artwork by Alli Rowe
In the town
poems stand on street corners
gaggling in dangerous groups
swinging chains on steel fists.
whirl like the eye of the dervish
with carbide teeth
cutting inquiring fingers at the knuckle.
Blood sprays an arc
pointing the place where warmth begins.
Poems have to be registered.
Concealed ones take a special permit.
Some can be set to explode at dawn
between the eyes.
It is important to handle carefully
so small movements do not trigger shock waves
flattening trees and poets
in love with the ticking that stops
Never feed a poem or bring one home
to your wife.
You will have to send out
for more bread.
Poems make demands with sign language
holding your children for ransom.
You will be forced to meet a dark bus
and wait while strangers finish talking,