The squares are filled and in line we wait,
soft bellied mannequins,
secure in our appointed space,
Who will be the first to cross?
What paint, what slogan will rise like a balloon and clutch the senses,
if for but a moment, in shutter speed.
Who will break the line?
Who will stand motionless?
Putting their faith in their painted blind,
believing it waterproof and impregnable,
until the rain washes them away,
and that spurious security is thrown aside like a wrong number.
I read your fortune in a handful of dust,
in a flame that burns sere green and yellow,
the words borrowed from someone elses mouth,
filed and fitted to the need in yours.
Do not thank me for this,
in the war of glass animals
all will be broken,
all flames will burn higher,
fed by ink and paper
rising one last time,
into the crowd,
who only at the very last,
will weep for the words dying overhead,
will weep for the sad and broken glass animals,
who bleed to splintered death trying to stay hidden,
to evade the lions gaze,
who blame the knife and not the butcher.
Your fortunes are now scattered in the hot wind,
and the boxcars are approaching,
packed brimful with the next line of mannequins.
Your war is over,
the fires damped,
and the shattered glass swept away…