The chords are vamped and broadcast as if
From prison PA speakers. The notes break
As the sun breaks over a storm cloud in old
St. Pete. Where is my last bastion of sanity?
Tell us something new, radio people–
Flying over grasslands and painted hills, whir
Of chopper blades and dreams of giant parasols,
Everyone is “staying positive” and vital.
Across a midtown parking lot, a horizon spreads
More lazily than usual. The usual birds cramped
In, wings tinctured, flat turmeric quills, jostling
For a better position: everyone here is prey.
I lost some friends today, nothing new. More
Skies peel away. Beatitudes rhymes with platitudes
And for some that is enough. Fractured decade
Hold my Kombucha–there’s a smudged brocade needs fixing.
The independents slouched away years ago, so
Now we shop at Babylon & Gomorrah Outfitters.
I’ve run out of drugs and my mouth is disappearing.
The reception’s getting fuzzy but I can see for kilometers.
Spies like us, we keep queering the narrative.
Performing high treason while the studio chatter
Remains. On these pristine mornings I nod up:
Jesus, we live in good and awful times.
Anthony Robinson writes from rural Oregon and the San Francisco Bay area. A two-time finalist for the National Poetry Series, his work has appeared in The Iowa Review, Gulf Coast, The Laurel Review, Quarterly West, Verse, and ZYZZYVA. He is also an amateur photographer and food enthusiast. Find him on IG: @shedsofthenorthwest