Utopia (Jonestown)

An impatient pavilion awaits its decay.
Eight graves on the lip of the former
community lie under weeds and tree trunks
and their tightly donned shade. In the
night, the wind does not pick up;
the day finds everything in its place
as yesterday. Nothing will change today.


A Potomac Oneiric

Orange juice laps down Pennsylvania
Avenue, and people touch their lips
to the flood to lap up the pulp.

No one quite knows where
the juice flows from. All that people
know are clues murmured on
gusts of the autumn wind.

With all the townsfolk distracted,
the Pied Piper breaks into homes
and steals away baby photos in a sack.

With no one looking, Fatty Arbuckle
continues his one-man protest
outside the Supreme Court, praying
aloud for an appeal.

He smells citrus in the breeze,
hears the shatter of glass,
and still he stands,
as the townsfolk whisper
next to a river.


She sits above the fray of
purple and orange and pink and blue,
too pure, too white, to busy herself
with the nonsense of light
sprawled beneath her.
She’s finally at that time where her
whole face can glow to the ground.
She won’t waste a second of her time
with anything less than herself.

Yet the ground isn’t interested.
It spends what remaining sunlight
there is on tracing its fingers along
the colors’ path, trying to pretend
for a moment that the ground
can paint the sky.

So she stands, mouth open in surprise,
at turned-away eyes.