[There will be more soldiers…]
There will be more soldiers before there are none, he said.
You’re nothing but a pavement sweeper!
What more do you know than the dust
we kick behind your lousy broom — I mocked
his prophesy. It leaned toward the window like an indoor sapling.
I, like a defeated shelf, leaned with it.
[When you straggle…]
When you straggle on that porch, he told us, you may chance
encounter soldiers on your road — uniformed and naked — or the terrible
walk of catfish along the spice path, their scales for breadcrumbs.
These are tanks, and sooner or later you must stop bending knee to them,
like the shoeshine in an old shoe’s crease.
I do not say this in order to slap you in the face. I would say other things
if I wanted to really slap you in the face.
HARI ALLURI is a poet, community facilitator and co-founding editor of Locked Horn Press. His work appears or will appear in the following journals and anthology, among others: CV2, Five Quarterly, Kartika, Poetry International and Dismantle (Thread Makes Blanket). Hari’s first chapbook, The Promise of Rust, is forthcoming from Mouthfeel Press.