Birth Rights

Imagine prisons on fire, inmates fucking guards
razor wire melting like silver tape worms, imagine

slow dancing along the braided spark of discipline
like a christian killed in Wyoming, strung like a scarecrow

by boys, who eat chili fries in diners
with their girlfriends, across the enamel surface

of a slick sky, dying to the rhythm of whispers
of obedience bargained from steady youth to trembling age

inherited at dawn by sons in spats and shiny ties
men with juice, who love each other honorably

in trenches and capitol cloakrooms, with rosy fingers
diamond crucifixes and palms greased with gold

stolen from the teeth of college boys who flirt with you
in bars. Imagine having to pay the vig

on an imagination evil from youth
on the whiskers of sneaky wet kisses that raise

the hairs on your neck for the rest of your life.

R. D. Girard | Mudlark No. 21
Contents | The Price of Water in Los Angeles