Still Machines


On Tuesday Street in the scarlet room
A rattle and clap
Snapping from the gloom
The springing of a trap

It’s our doom, you know,
to bring the beast
To pluck and harry our prey
From four posts we feast upon
The old grey dust
Singing carpet burn
of this bearskin rug
Whose mouth claims:
You must, You must

Would you shrug at me? Would you yearn?
Would you roll your eyes as you snap my limbs in turn?
Would you care?
Would you flick your hair as you burn me down?
Would you flap? Would you frown?

Just then a hot gust through the open pane
Rank air
Why must this city be so warm?
Like foul breath it wheezes
You’re a mystery to me, it insists

Then, in your absence, redacted:
Swooping upon a jade broach once owned by the mistress of Dali, Gala
The magpie cackles from the oak
It’s the staging post for a telegraph wire,
Beneath which Egypt dances, begs for the swallows to fall
Into her fearful jaws
From the barren tree the magpie croaks
And feathers fall like tears to soak the ground

We found each other
We dared to hope

Beneath the willow, we are still machines
Eating horseradish, waiting for the dance of hooves

We are still machines, we are still machines
And the ladle stirs itself through the beans of the soup

We are still machines and we dared to dream and we bind ourselves with that rope


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