Children Listen

Roger Reeves
                It turns out however that I was deeply
Mistaken about the end of the world
        	The body in flames will not be the body
In flames but just a house fire ignored
        	The black sails of that solitary burning
Boat rubbing along the legs of lovers
        	Flung into a Roman sky by a carousel
The lovers too sick in their love
        	To notice a man drenched in fire on a porch
Or a child aflame mistaken for a dog
        	Mistaken for a child running to tell of a bomb
That did not knock before it entered
        	In Gaza with its glad tidings of abundant joy  	
In Kazimierz a god is weeping
        	In a window one golden hand raised
Above his head as if he’s slipped
        	On the slick rag of the future our human
Kindnesses unremarkable as the flies
        	Rubbing their legs together while standing
On a slice of cantaloupe Children
        	You were never meant to be human
You must be the grass
        	You must grow wildly over the graves

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Artificer

Burning, he walks in the stream of flickering letters, clarinets,
machines throbbing quicker than the heart, lopped-off heads, silk
canvases, and he stops under the sky

and raises toward it his joined clenched fists.

Believers fall on their bellies, they suppose it is a monstrance that
   shines,

but those are knuckles, sharp knuckles shine that way, my friends.

He cuts the glowing, yellow buildings in two, breaks the walls into
   motley halves;
pensive, he looks at the honey seeping from those huge honeycombs:
throbs of pianos, children's cries, the thud of a head banging against
   the floor.
This is the only landscape able to make him feel.

He wonders at his brother's skull shaped like an egg,
every day he shoves back his black hair from his brow,
then one day he plants a big load of dynamite
and is surprised that afterward everything spouts up in the explosion.
Agape, he observes the clouds and what is hanging in them:
globes, penal codes, dead cats floating on their backs, locomotives.
They turn in the skeins of white clouds like trash in a puddle.
While below on the earth a banner, the color of a romantic rose,
   flutters,
and a long row of military trains crawls on the weed-covered tracks.

Wilno, 1931