They call this welcome week
(though I don’t feel very welcome)
From houses marked with ancient numerals that lost their meaning and across porches
strewn with cans and cigarette butts they howl rambling inanities about
beer and sports and fucking
I walk through the sameness amidst
cat calls and peals of laughter and strangled yelling;
the hordes of the drunk marching on, vast and horrible
I pass beautiful young men and women in the prime of their life,
sweating bullets under football jerseys and designer dresses
Slurring promises not to be kept, oaths not to be remembered
Soon the hot splash of fresh vomit sliding down the pavement and
the sick-sour acrid scent of half-digested cheap vodka and day-old pizza
rises slowly to my nostrils in the night air
What seems like childish flirtation is not contained easily by leering
bloodshot eyes and throbbing, raging bodies swollen with lust and hot intoxication
On Monday maybe they’ll be buried in textbooks studying
microbiology or macroeconomics, but for now every ounce of grey matter
is spent on the task of maneuvering a small white ball into red plastic cups
Isn’t this a desperate time?
When Rome was in its death throes,
didn’t Claudius usher Bacchus in gladly, fill whole arenas with gladiators
fighting wild animals to entertain the masses drunk on blood red wine?
Perhaps salvation won’t arrive in time for our land,
the only Change
we’ll see will be dropped into the cups outstretched to the callous rulers
of our dying system.
For now, bloated pigs try in vain to maintain jurisdiction
over the vast hordes of Jordan, of Wright, of Simon
I seal myself from the angry night within my cramped apartment:
a small thing in a small box within a greater egg carton building of concrete slabs,
stained, solid, everlasting
It will be here long after the skeletons of my descendants have turned to dust
I am a lone survivor in the land of the undead,
listening to their ecstatic cries and tortured moans, their sickness and joy, and
this night has just begun
© Copyright 2016 MPanfil. All rights reserved.
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