Art by Michael Whalen
  Recital by Author

Art  2006 Michael Whalen

 

Milk the Gentile

Lost the moist walls snails clamour in the corners
of the ruined hall; feet have disturbed the dust on
the beams above the dance floor, where the bravest
ones reached for the crystal baubles on an ancient
chandelier;[now but a sprig with few dusty grapes
remaining, like shrunken breasts] and men with trade–marked sympathy administer experimental medicines and she dies (while I watch) and I run knowing that I should not have seen these things, that the kiss of the dead tastes similar to transplantation antigens.

As though you had found an ancient unmarked bottle
of wonder elixir from the 1930's and sculled it down in a flash.

She, (earlier not referred to directly), waits patiently on the corner, toeing trash in the gutter, humming some classic refrain, abandoned in her silk dress on an equally silky afternoon.

Never forget she said that leaders are men and men
were boys full of fault and arrogance at the dance
at school and in the office and though they are taller now than then - essentially nothing has changed.

And, despite what conflicting histories have
institutionalised the mind there are still guides
on the lizard road, you just have to know here to find them.

There are not many things in his suitcase when
we find him.

His jacket has souvenir flags sewn on the sleeve.