Dead Capital

In the spring of 1944
he went away,
bound in fervor,
red kiss of the emperor on his head.
I’d clasped at the
unravelling thread,
and tied it round my wrist.
A rich red thread,
haemoraging youth.
Its long since that
string went slack.
But still, no word comes.
Many nights, drums
rolled over me.
Many slept till death came.
But now I find strange lands
washed up on shore.
I’ve dug a pit,
as others have.
They throw in heirlooms,
food, gold teeth.
Dark valleys, dug despairing future.
But in my pit I’ll throw
those things dearest to lovers,
trees, rivers, stars, streets.
Things we’d combed for,
left behind by warlords.
Things we’d suspended about us,
like a carousel turning
over this century’s precipice.
The calamity of fallen cities
is nothing compared to my pit
where planets, tempests,
unborn earth collide.
Cranes fly over,
on their way to
firebomb a dead capital.
They traverse the pit’s dark wreckage
and fall at it’s edge.

Copyright Ricky Barrow 2013


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