Photo Credit: Metropolitan Museum of Art, Renaissance Tapestries

A Jig for the Halcyon

Somewhere in America
one bit in a byte is toggled wrong,
one vowel in a novel
is a consonant.
However loud we sing,
the anthem won't come right.

Somehow, we are coping
with humiliation.
We are not prodigal,
not crazy,
and we have the smartest feet:
stepping on, we step on the pavement,
and not on any sleeping drunk.

Speak for yourself, but for me
there are rips in the panorama,
terrifying holes
where the dark comes through.

Those of us who still mean anything
mean well,
but meaning is nothing to electric air:
an argument,
a crackle,
one word someone else
heard roaring in a shell.

Scott Murphy

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