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By series: Bridge St  In Yr Ear  Ruthless Grip

Some Mountains Removed

The Vietnamese grocers have all closed down.
Clapboard and brick
in soft snow light, and the ample light
of the big glass buildings.
Out of the subway tunnel, tracing
the slope of expressway, all the
three-decker tenements have flat tops,
and yards not enough to park a car.

Listen, the paraders have all gone home.
A cylinder packet in parapet bind. Pigeons
plug it as a delicate keep. Morning sunlight
soaks the snowbound square, the light
I remember when its absence evokes
petulant tenderness in ungrateful hearts
near the half-frozen river, a string
of traffic in rotor beads.

If property is theft, is theft of my property theft?
I don't mean the speculative dust flickering
in sunlight beams thru drawn shades, and not
the frantic filters set adrift while fishing
for stories of how others spent their lives
in pursuit of love, happiness,
self-congratulatory amazement
at the potato cell structure grammar's
recollection entices. And not the shades
they have become, nor the woolly blankets
drawn over you in the still-warm, still room.

In considering questions of reading
should one turn to books first for answers?
Enthrall to the means
of Blake's firm persuasion. Sights
parse motionless, turn a corner
where the walk turns from concrete
briefly to steel grille
above a subway vent big yellow
and orange machines lean
into lots for the tearing down. When
power erases the means to be free
you are free to burn the symbols of power.

What business was that machine
for to rage against? Descent:
dissent to rant, not the comfort of
conglomerate, of images and villages,
a wrong wall to arm against matter
the mass builds and breaks under its
clumsy weight but never shall
totally shatter.

If this is New England February
can winter be far behind? The last
of french Louies under lockdown longed
for a life of English first Charles. And guards
fetched it for him from the royal library,
and later his enemies got it for him
on the public scaffold. His triumph
contained in displays of regal wit,
his head severed in a laundry basket.

Springing our taut skin warm to the ranks
of grasses lay down on a consequence of ants
extraordinary in their capacity to face
the highway, hear the hum, construe
a thrum of traffic to rush like a stream in
these westward hours setting golden,
blanket crumpled under play, a sadder,
softer, slower tune, a lightness, lessening,
a lesson of allegiance in the car pack
departure, then amble and scuttle past.