White Cross, Blue Flag flicker;
as the silhouettes, the half-men and the half-women
write poetry and form semi-colons amongst the clouds
and the endless skies; they block the sun in the spaces between phrase and phrase
and I breathe petroleum, or the remnants of petroleum.

There’s a past protest somewhere, in the distance
and I see self-righteousness and absolutism war
with self-righteousness and absolutism; twist
white steam, coil hot air between the buildings which scrape the sky and the ruins
like magnesium in a bowl of water,
or bowl and magnesium around the water.

Xenophobia’s in the air, who knows what else?
A reaction to an unknown concept like rotten produce
and a dental chair together in a cauldron’s miasma;
what is sense and sensation, but a narrative tool in a Scottish play?
How could a man agree with them;
how could a man but agree with them?

And half the denizens are angry, shuddering in their rage;
and half the denizens are confident and attribute their joy
to their chains, and to their apathy. Listen to the breaking of chains,
like the breaking of bones.
And the breaking of bone was the snapping of chains –
the fingers were links and the guilt was composed of gilt,
and I could be happy,
if you were happier than me,