In Defense of the Prince of Gold River
Given, only after attending several state-sponsored floodings
did he begin saving the thinned-haired children in earnest.
Meanwhile, he changed the color of his standard three times.
The children were rosy-cheeked, pocked, stupid, reeking
of piss and whatever they could smoke. They had their fingers
inside one another and were drooling. He floated in on a barge
made to look like a lotus, set a leather-bound stack on the shore,
and said books were like tongues cut out of great men.
Some who grabbed one and ran off were never seen again.
One or two were found nailed to trees, others have breezes
named after them.
What does that prove? They could be eating tourtière on a porch right now.
You act as if you’ve never held their stand-in dolls and felt safe.
We were ugly and like the mad center of a blossom he looked at us.
The children flash lights at the five of us who are left.
They send their loose hairs to us on the wind
so we can weave them into a way out.*
*I injected a fat twinkling into his blood, particulate and cruel,
the sharpened edges of which we will soon rue if we let him burn.