answer (poem)

Digital image of light orbs

 

 

answer

 

the fleas die and the seedling trees die

ants that mob your cabinets and the crawling

earth’s answer to your time of living, wait

to shock you in a flare of lit escape

on bathroom floors at night

Of vegetation again, ivies and vines

ugly flowering things in beds made for inconstant returns

Of vermin again, who roll under your wheels die

and you have slaughtered by mistaken pouring

bleach and turpentine to inch the basement drain

and warning: contains lye inch to the cracks of city pipes

somewhere breached something of your household choosing

marks your arbitration

then become human

vermin, on thin representation repine in indignation

they would rather not the answer be

a quarantine or barricade or a plowing into molehills

their bellyaching is a plea

“Father, yell me where to go.”

under the tunnel sits no foundation

water carries sand, and carries it away

feet, that if touched hands, would start and rout

mill, in air, while a mill turns in the endless head

No one is having this argument

because the ants, hants, humants, whatever bargain struck

narrate on loop by rote behind façades

don religions and others’ skins

won’t have their song of crisis stilled

 

 


answer

Oil painting of woman at pondside and man behind barsThe Public Waits for a Hint

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(2020, Stephanie Foster)

 

 

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