Utter an Inarticulate Sound

An open blind casts shadow bars
on a blank page mid-morning.

They are a mask—a birch forest
on a tilted globe. You are mistaken

for a monumental stair by a robot
that thinks your ribs

are made for climbing. The takeover
has begun. No crickets or grasshoppers

within earshot to wake you
from the middle of a dream

about an encounter with that singing
curmudgeon in a neglected corridor

on the top floor
of a Victorian apartment house.

Facial expressions nearly legible
by candlelight. You’ve lost track

of what day it is.
The smell of handgun smoke

lingers on the mall
after the muzzle blast dies.

A 300-year-old bur oak splits open
under the stress of rot, weight, age—

drought the final straw.
The park has always had a bird man

who ignores the signs
not to feed the geese, ducks,

pigeons, red-winged blackbirds.
The occasional great blue heron

that fishes in the lake
doesn’t need anyone’s help.

You were once a bumper car stuck
going backwards in figure eights,

before rhythmically slamming into walls
on repeat. You’ve spent your life

trying not to become the ball
crushed into a 2D idea

in mere moments. Night fell

on national chant at the moon day
without so much as a whimper

released from your throat.
Let the howling resume tomorrow.

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