We’re swapping lies;
Stephen tells us
“Envy is the saliva on an old mortician’s lips
as he watches two cars crashing.”
Marlon is nodding with his eyes more shut than open
dreaming of a digestive tract made from old bricks
crumbling with lime and dissolving.
In his head men with gentle voices
assure him how the weather will be.
Deep in his ears, suspended in an air of ether
the noise of these weathermen comes chanting.
He’s in a room alone
there are many rooms.
He dreams of waking
as the panthers of the cumulus
continue their broadcast
(dispatching the unknowable)
he thinks aloud,
speaking clearly to us from his sleep.
“In the morning I’ll grow my hair and be fine
if there’s sun for rain or rain in place of sun
we’ll have a tally of resistance
I could cut throats with this tongue
make speeches so fine
they’d slip beneath your skin and keep you talking
I could swallow everything and have thoughts unsaid
ready to flow from my lips
I could have mothers bringing daughters to my door
and flesh by the yard
these things, wedding rings
don’t matter to me now.”