Leveler Poetry Journal
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Do tears power the grid, mackerel and tarpon,

cold electric eel embanked in sludge, do they

flash flood into thirsty mouths.  He who taught

the creatures how to live didn’t foresee you.

Mountain peaks divert the winds

while one fire equals blackout, cross and chain,

island stripped to the bone. Like heartache

and heatstroke, dark fluids pool and clot.

Tobacco crumbles in the humid afterwards,

and a chorus of outer voices is stilled,

meaty rasp of saws, churches crammed full,

hospital wards stinking of grief and shit.

Where is Celia Cruz.

Broken dishes of lament sauced by ochre light

shatter under swollen feet. See plastic shoes.

There is one comma too many in the brief.

A shadow grid still pulses through the venous sea,

black sails marking tragedy, hands slapping flies.

The dead keep coming, more and more and more.

Bodies float—hips that swayed,

ears yearning for décimas, that sweet landscape.

Curse the helicopters, heat-seeking gulls,

rising snub above your semaphore.

Mornings, you drink white coffee on a stoop

that lacks a palpable house. It rains even indoors.

The physics of an axe,

hacking wormy wood, apocalyptic rot,

chewed and spat out seeds of fruit.

At last you call to say nada, screw the debt.

and screw your three-star generals.

A horizon of desire has flattened

along the power lines.

Carol Alexander