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We, the Rubber Men


We gunned each other down,
gunned each other down in the street, abandoned

each other unburied. Later, those left bearing
the palls burned to show their love. Burned to light

our streets with the dying asterisms of their rage.
And we watched until our watching made of them

a carnival: He, the twirling fire-spitter.
He, the glass-walker. He, the sword-swallower. He,

the smiling bullet-catcher. From our vantage,
we allowed ourselves to admit no wrong. No

wrong. We were only watching. We were only
breathing in. Breathing in. Breathing in the ether

of routine and accumulation. When we came to,
the field, where in fall children trotted back and forth

like a cloven herd, eddied with snow. Wind-driven snow,
the field buffeted with thin, cold clouds along its camber.

Wind-driven, an uprising of whirls gathering
into the clawed shape of a loss we did not know

we felt. That we would have said was not ours.
That returned into itself. That returned into itself,

no trace. Like breath into breath. Snow into snow. Flesh
into flesh. That leaving no trace, could not be ours.



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