Swagazine Six

Zeylan -- and the lemming parade marches through town, tuesday through saturday

the window opens, and you climb through,
forming a circle of dust at your knees.

seven gods sit in the circle and decide
to turn history inside-out.
so they start with the desert.
as the sun rises on a Tuesday morning
they unearth the snakes and lizards
that hide from the sun.

and the reptiles are baptized in legend,
and fed doses of society and religion;
and with fervor they choke and struggle
and their bodies refuse the offering;
and the circle of seven begin again.

they turn their attentions to the forests,
to the marshes, and to the valleys,
to the dust rising from the sand at your feet,
and to the mindless wisdom of the lemmings.

all that remains when you climb through the window,
all that you say as the crowd passes by,
seeking to incite the consequence that I,
with all that I offer to the remaining hour,
might hold to this memory of a solitary lemming,

and to the last happenstance of unsolicited memories,
the ilk that all the joy in the world deny suppression,
no remorse is offered to you,

dressed for the evening in your desperation attire,
a lovely little number with your innards on the sleeves.
dressed like a lemming on holiday.

and the little lemmings,
with their shopping bags and their sack lunches,
marching to the tune of passing cars,

they sing their hymns and praises to your dusty knees,
passing the chickens in china shop windows,
their heads a block away.

they follow you through this,
as you climb through my window,
as you follow the cadence of goodbyes.

a prayer is offered to the lemming god:
cinders, embers, burning eyes of flies,
your crushed velvet wings and other invisible things
resting at the bottom of a jar;

a sacrifice on the altar of forgetfulness,
that it might never have to hear you

and the crowd passes by, masqueraded as the day,
all the while you climb through the window,

for the lemmings are merciful and blind,
and as you climb through the window with the sunlight behind you,
I watch as their offering is accepted

the spark ignites,
the lemmings scatter,
the window is now Closed,
and you have followed the parade.

and the circle of seven begin again.

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