"The war light"
Mathias Svalina

The war light

shines thief in the machine,


always ending

in a hanging.


Dock the cotton

in war night.


The zoo is dire:

it hurts

the light.


Was one Susan

the wharf?


Was the sister

nearby, silent?


The shriek startles

the boulders, sunning


the ferns

& summit.


When diesel stains ether,

the viral lease,

the verses we hear


are nevers. A hump of days

wound round the altar,


the inseam of a scarecrow.

Behave, weary,


chiseled & white.