for a winter

here comes the finger-biter
and the shadowy chauffeur,
the dark driver in a black car
cyanide gas wafts from the dashboard vents
sarin, phosgene, chlorine, agent 3, agent 15
the tires leave black scars
down the road
over the hills

the beach is a waste
the weeds are dead
and bow their heads
but the news hasn't reached our sponsors yet
so the launch is still on
slender waiters prowl the red velvet banquettes
but cobwebs are already growing up in the shadows
the end is past, and now it's catching up to us

mountain lions prowl the canyons
bears lurk in the woods
there's a flasher in the supermarket parking-lot
whose every bite confers disease
we missed the hymns
of the hobos living in the trees
and you can't sing
about tubercles and ringworm
shingles and rabies

in the friends’ cemetery
the leaves are turning to powder beneath my feet
the branches poke from the earth
like fingers deducted by the finger-biter
plastic bags fly by on every gust,
the brightest things in sight
and there is nothing left of us

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