Compassionate Grounds

By | 1 August 2021

Nausea ransoms hour twelve
of the second flight. It wants the Dramamine
you refuse to have left in Melbourne.

In Planet of the Apes, the human discovers a talent
for invective still prodigious. Voices breach
my headphones, fingers knife

open the curtain—beautiful woman outside
the lavatory on her back; attendants ministering,
chorusing. Let’s pretend it’s

got nothing to do with blood sugar.
It’s next week, a bright Chicago

operating theatre—pass to the hidden
summit of uncaring that has awed me so long.

They sneak you business croissants. Mini
glass jars of Bonne Maman jam,
apricot. Would you rather something else,

my love? Something that holds your blood in
rogue octaves, rent
from the knife I fan? Or even wilder—

imagine the Australian government
didn’t permit me to leave, but to become human.

Charlton commandeers a horse and the surf
of catastrophe admits him, his manner

so swollen, he must be pretending
to pretend—he must have been ordered
to collapse the real into the act.

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