— a belly full of snow
and miles of steel.
It’s a potato of a portrait,
unsuitable for framing,
from some unread directory,
security pass perhaps, a string of pointless numbers all its own.
Our comic bid for safety, for control.
Fulfilling all that’s left of obligation.
Duty’s discharge now just standing in a line or
sitting for a picture of an autumn afternoon,
signing here and signing there
while chestless men and haridans
pronounce their empty sentences
into the emptier air.
Scan it all you can
for a word from before or beyond
but all you’ll hear is
Hurry up and take the picture I have
something else to do