December 14th, 2012



I own piranhas. Keep them in two tanks
with thickened glass. Grow Amazonian plants
to keep air in their water. All their wants
are catered for, though I expect no thanks.

Ungrateful killer wretches with sharp bites.
I feed them bits of mince with leather gloves
to keep my fingers whole. Their brutal loves
are fun to watch. Sometimes on drunken nights

we shine bright lights and watch them writhe and spawn
take little nips out of each other's tails.
And all in silence. You'd expect some wails
but no, not even when small ones are born

and eat their mother's guts. A thing I own
that might, like love, jump, chew me to the bone.


Dead children, halfgrown flesh with bullet-holes
marks of explosion, not just torn apart
but hit so hard by air it stopped their heart
a moment between breaths. Pray for their souls.
Godless, I pray. Language is far too weak
there is no other word for what we feel
except reject religion, and still steal
its words, its attitudes. They're what we seek
ways of regret and hurt. So, always young,
always unfinished, taken from their lives.
There's nothing new to say. This verse derives
does not create. It's just the same old song
and what we need. While men shoot stab and kill
with other weapons, we will need it still.