Though I Have Never Been to Ostia, I Have Seen the Place Where Our Dreams Died

like pasolini’s dream of an african oresteia let us be ridiculous
you will still be young like him in a bright shirt ashamed of the birds in your chest
suffused with the secret of wombs wanting to die before you are killed by something
tell me your first thought upon waking not the second not the rumor
the lewd perfume that laughs along innocent limbs in granulated detail repeat after me
there is no such thing as a peaceful translation dry-mouthed agitation won’t save you
neither will poetry the pyramid scheme of revolution not its child nor changeling
faithless attentions the dimpled chin of william o’neal a joyriding teen so scared
of nonbeing of the lolling tongues of bars & guards he led them to fred hampton’s bed
then walked twenty years later straight into the eisenhower expressway going mad
in the middle of this ordinary night how achingly black the sky must have been how tender
after a thousand other nights are the birds not informants too? do they not betray
each coming dawn? McClatchy.  
Photograph   ©   sunrisesoup their cruel indifference of glances their absolute fidelity
to nothing but themselves & the bruised heavens heavens heavens

note on the poem: Italicised text from Pier Paolo Pasolini’s poem ‘Flesh and Sky’, translated from the Italian by David Stivender and J.D.