Inverted Halo

Andrew Nance

Let my country die for me.
—James Joyce

How black crows lord the red brain in its café
while our blue mascara backfires, melts, a smell
so presbyopic our vertebrae shutter—knight, knight
king me
—Poulenc plays Per un pugno di dollari
on the xylophone, and our eyelid's hangnails twitch
under the AC like a gun at rest. Pogroms are
playing out on our plew as our dollars fall free
at last saying, there's so much to see and do, so much
to do one's bit in before the epiblast breaks
and we all must bed. In front of this café, we take
breaks, smoke, and discuss the difference between
sucrose and GB—Sarin, Resolution 687—loving
the way each as if is uttered as an epiphyte, each
who me? crowns, like a dégagé, its smaller version
splayed verb?up, all in the end meaning that
we don't have the time to worry too much. We'll
just go on howling in formal ways, a live recording
without any sign of zest, draegerman, or what
we might think of as the unilaterally blind
postures of a certain kind of proletariat—Khalid
Sheikh Mohammed
declared in rhyme, deadpan
between trace elements of Ativan on our breath.