Christopher Salerno

Tonight We're Going to Party Like It's 1799

Not a tincture of water for the first.
If the roof is indeed on fire.
              Oh yeah, a moody sky, but not a rainy one.
              And if it’s a solid mile to the pond?
                          If the woods are full of strong owls?
                          The story is men uncover
                                     the yard, they pack the house with dirt.
                                     They slide all furniture
                                                 against the walls. Death and the beautifully
                                                 painted door open at once.
                                                             A few drift into it.
                                                             It is in this fire they fuse to the architecture—
                                                             their spirits the exhaust rushing now
                                                                         through our vowels, only in a different way.
                                                                         Like the spirits rising up
                                                                                    from cracked beers.
                                                                                    Their posthumous jeremiads
                                                                                    bidding us: Listen.
                                                                                               As hawks curve over the horizon like reason
                                                                                               in the ugly argument: Party.
                                                                                               Like he who knows
                                                                                               the answer is sometimes flame. He who paints
                                                                                               the exit maps of the heart,
                                                                                                          we won’t ever
                                                                                                          read them.

© 2005 Electronic Poetry Review