All the Zip Ties


Men were beginning to wait, one might say, for the year to finally die.

                                                    —Robert Aickman, “The Cicerones”

No matter how the year cried, they wouldn’t stop

hitting it. The air was thick with tears

so no one could breathe. Here is the Kevlar

pat on the back. Here is the burping baby

gun emptying its rubber commas into the world.

All the zip ties holding this country together,

arms in prayer behind bruise-pocked backs.

The terrorist is the one causing terror,

says the terrorist with a grin. The year cried,

Is this winning, or am I out of it?

So many years hit with so many sticks.

They wanted a riot. They stacked up the bricks.

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