One day the ceiling of heaven
Empyrean everywhere
Feathers spackled the air
And dead poets
Somersaulted down
Birds and words
Fell over themselves
Tumbled and jumbled
Twinned and conflated
Until even a discerning eye
Couldn’t dissect one
From the other
On that day men with
Guns and tanks
And silver-tongued snipers
Ran roughshod
Over the sky
Sonnets dropped
Like shot geese
Into a lake
Too far from shore
And there they sank
Sirens sounded then
A mighty roar
You’re better than this
It blared
But we weren’t
And we didn’t
Couldn’t or wouldn’t
And it didn’t matter anyway
The poets knew it
The birds knew it
The bullets and sparrows did too
Blank pages piled up
In a crumpled heap
And birds huddled on a wire
While the guano grew
Knee-deep, beneath them
And the sun baked it all
Into a hardened crust
Four and twenty blackbirds
Baked in a pie
Four and twenty writers
Shot through the eye

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