In the twenty-first saddling of the second floor,
Even my eyes hung serendipitous; fold
The dance-stacks rolling in the great awe.
Over at the plebeian halls, our presence known.

Gouged, like doubt, stentorian steel net
And a red flower for each faux pas. Under the arch
Comes a promise. Let us grow like reverse candles,
Shape us, crowd-like unharmony of sin.

Once, my voice among the rattle, drowned
By the grinding of every edge, of every teeth exclaiming,
Its blue baton filled with malice. Sharp in color,
Such moments of shock for innocence’s youth.

Like little umbrellas, and sand-grain satin,
Lethe in rain, little Styx’s cousin. The wanton myth
Is upon us. Dredge, soul — harper, wight:
Grant me forgetfulness and I shall owe you peace.

Seek me, colonial peasant dreamer, in the middle
Of sticks, making fire for myself. Demand
The sum of my debts, plus one for every thread:
I am made of cloth, of every spirit embracing wildfire.

— A. P.