We are as slow as the world turning,
regard us with attention though;
we pass through time
luminous as a sun’s morning rehearsal-
you should be simply
astonished at our constant smiling.
When we walk outdoors, it is a great event,
although, we do not have
time nor the patience to think;
we do not worry what will happen without
your undivided attention;
birds always stand still upon the wire.
They are arranging and rearranging their
brown downy feathers,
we saw them first.
There was something about them, much
like pieces of flat cardboard-
flat in winged flight, wilted when wet.
We sit in our underwear and stockings
when it rains;
we often think, let’s do something awful,
so white, so suddenly.
We wait for a spirit to alter our faces-
being evil is so difficult.
We only play the white keys on our piano
with our alphabetical fingers,
the sound is rather mechanical-
like a taping at your window;
hide your faces from the rhetoric,
a musical disease.
This could be death stalking, the cold angel
with the lichen-bitten name.
She’s looking for the one sin that will
tip you over the precipice
into the land with the iron dove gates;
remember, she wears white cold wings.
Compared to her, we’re a couple of white swans,
dragging in four directions in an ill-wind;
it never seems we’re quite ready,
we prefer white sheets instead-
that way, our faces have no features
when we kick in your door for an exorcism.
Did we mention we do not like your children,
we prefer them precariously rare,
stitched to a church altar, buried in a hymnal.
All their imperfections, yet somehow
it makes the gods jealous;
such flatness like cardboard cannot be holy.
Speaking of, let my sister and I flatten and
launder the goodness of your soul.
That will happen at the precise moment when
the bigot wind blows,
when the leaves shrivel in the cold dark air;
turn up your hands, sinners (or something like that).
Let’s see, we have the white sheets, the distorted
white faces, your last will and testament
written in hieroglyphics on cardboard paper,
the old bricks to break your windows;
are you ready for eternity as it engulfs you?
Wait. It’s those damn birds again clinging to the wire.
Their off-color will be our death. Wearing
dusk hoods like a Mary.
We wish they’d keep their distance in their
own brown neighborhoods
before they engulf us with their terrible element.
It frightens our discriminating minds, our well-being.
We prefer a white clean chamber, no miracles
of course; maybe an accomplishment or two.
We will last it out, we will last it out;
does innocence kill?
The trees are withering on our street; our hearts
tick and tick with their satchels of supremacy.
Our eyes are squeezed by all this blackness.
Will we ever hate ourselves, our fears?
Someday the dark earth will drink us, then vomit
the waste. After that, there will be no
more guile or warp left; may god keep it so.
How winter fills our souls in the chalk of earth.