The city burns. The engines race
without much hope. Our skin, soot-speckled,
dusted with the ash of others, shows where
it shows as molten as a furnace.
The cloth is offered to the bull,
the thinnest blade withdrawn from the hide.
The muscle makes a sucking noise and then
what was beneath begins to trickle forth.
The razor blade is slicing up the eye.
The neon lights the smoking woman's body.
Each inhalation reignites the tiny sun
decaying to a point between her fingers.
The gangs of men who roar outside the window
take on its hue as veins in temples throb,
boozy blood cells rushing
to the head and other parts.
The creature at the cross' foot is screaming,
like the Pope, like the monochrome mother,
like la carne maccelata,
like a Krakatoa sunset,
like what flows in a Whitechapel gutter,
like the girl who pounds the keys,
like the blood I'll never bleed,
like the police cars burning through the long hot summer