Around here we don’t say: I like what you did.
Bloodflow and block compete
to make such a well-articulated river
which I call your aesthetic.
Our culture is so stilted
and with sticks on the end of each finger,
we’re struggling even to touch.
The muscle tone of the language lost definition.
Speaking sounds funny with a wooden mouth.
The love we get has a gutter cough,
ripped out pages, lines demarcating
areas of shame: nothing too full, direct or detailed
is the local rule of thumb for love.
Feeling self-conscious in meanings that used
to fit, the house is a dense
semiotic battle switched off at the seams,
the community’s worn right through
in patches and you consider whether
to abandon it all by the side of the road
or put in a whole new motor.
There’s depth to such meaty living,
knowing what it is to eat and be eaten.
There’s no bombs here, yet,
yet the white people tend to stick together.
The cars, trees, honey, the children bitter.
Even the dust in the corners is shattered.
Such stupidly ugly streets.