The police set about their work so tenderly! Like dolls built to simulate laughter. Like bells, they watch the space between themselves, not us. Its milky white. Their whos and wherefores have been smudged for our enchantment. Once-upon- their-bodies steamed good and stiff right into those ruffled blackcoats. And that’s how we like them, flushed, immobile to our bootless haste, to the loose cargo drifting by— calliope of tin and cash dashing asphalt. We like each pistol’s toy piano ping, how it signals adjustments to temperature, alters by degrees our own satisfactions, pin by pin, a sound to rejoice in, as the police rejoice, without moving your lips or eyelids. The held sigh of a nebula, swelling. How we envy the buckles that clasp back at them. Their radios, looser, lean into the white air— thumbed postcoitally, mindful, yet distracted. Their leather straps have been lathered and scraped and are lathered again by fog’s fur-based intelligence, that we wrap about our shoulders, that a splatter of ice-mud clings to. Their laces are latched to thread-holes as they themselves are latched to this morning, bent, raffiné with frost. Imagine, their bodies a drum collecting us like steady beads in a dream! And us as fervent, our flesh pink with flaps.
Crowds Surround Us
agile founderings and piecemeal flotations.
The crowd constitutes a gravitational field
that slaps back at the ground, numbed
and maddened by ground’s constant suckling.
The crowd embodies a depression in fabric
more than an attraction. Its angled, arteried, fleet
fantasias of need sway in
a loopy, bobbing dance without strings.
It’s this sense of movement the organism uses
to believe in its own existence, the palpable presence
of an intangible parade, uncertain
planetary marches, a supernumerary of stars.
In its mania for artifice the crowd has sewn the sky
with these shiny extras. Embodied
adoration, they snap the organism shut
before tickling it open again
with reedy gestures. Breathe.
The crowd’s louche body
clings and parts in place, an ovation
rigid and adrift, alive. It is the sea
that sweeps the sea.
Broom tight with inner bickering.
A mortal scour. Meaning,
how the crowd hates the crowd.
Outwardly. It admits you or me
as an enormous lidless eye admits glittering
beams. Endless watching, washing us in.
The crowd’s object, its point,
is always vanishing into its own mass. It is a sea
with no concern for us, even as it scores.