parity (challenge poem)

Robert took the 7 am train across town,
through the main part of the central burrough,
across spans of land like belonged to no-one
and yet belonged to everyone except for him.

the sun climbed up behind the train,
making shadows cast like arrows
pointing gloomily when lengthened, as with the trees,
gaily when shortened, as with the grass.

the cool metal encasing him
smelled like the sour of his hands
like the amore of a journey
like dilligent engineering, and a crisp uniform.

these new paintings on the wall
ever variable, of listless program
shorn away the singleness of his thoughts
blending canvas against the amelioration of self.

“to be new!” he thought,
“to have to exist in the raiments of children~”
his excitement pausing at the sight of a burning home,
people running about it, far away, silent, as ants clamor,

anxiety pressing on a chest already filled
with the warm, viscous liquer of the new,
he presses the attendant for news-
“what of those poor shaking souls?”

“what of the plebians, the unfit proles?”
hisses the attendant with luscious browning froth,
saying nothing more, leaving steaming words to burn robert’s ear-
and therefore he never came this way again.


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