perhaps what this poem needs is more breathless sighs
in-between each stanza. or, a more selective collection

of vaguely hostile shapes. those little fires everywhere.
pareidolia but it’s always the wrath of ancient tongues

propagating an etiquette designed for future monsters.
a particular abstraction? yes, but it sustains this dying,

this ending of nations; residual meta-smudges blacken
our hourglass transcripts. maudlin, the brightest word

in the darkest room. a strength that was almost hands
but not quite, not quite. so if you must die, just do it

now while i’m dressed to kill. so the sum of our race
becomes chance-based and starts donning bullseyes

as an excess of caution. in the end it’s their own fault,
really—standing blindfolded against a wall like that.

— Justin Clark (he/him) is a father and poet living in Indiana. He has an Associate of Science in History and an Associate of Arts in Philosophy. His work has been featured in Hobart After Dark, The Tecumseh Review, Southchild Lit, Interstellar, and Zero Readers Review. He can be found on Twitter @PrognatusD.

Posted in