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WOLFEN

I

The wolves are out
loping through the city
at one with the
silhouetted ruins
a smoking waste of
haze and ash

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they take the hand of the chief
and toss it over the curb,
fingers twitching the grip of
a loaded pistol.

II

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In the penthouse of the entrepreneur
the lead investigator and his lover
turn their arms through the
architectural model
white powder flying over
slums transformed
we won’t take your land
with the sweep of his body
and a terrible discontinuity
all our ideals are reduced to dust
in the shag pile.

Vertical venetians split
like tendons in this pulsing,
glittering self-strata,
reeking with hedge-funds
and well-manicured egoism,
a fugitive sense of mastery
like smoke
alongside the pitiless
facts of
existence.

I still don’t know why I am crying.

III

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Up on the Brooklyn bridge
the passing parade of lost souls
tangles with rust
dancing on the rivets
in the rarefied air
of the umpteenth tier
as on a drumbeat of
tautest animal hide
in the forest.

A tribe without a language
or home ground
riding swinging girders,
rattling chains
through working memory
the silver fabric of the Hudson
dazzling the steps
of the master of ceremonies.

In the shade of a hand
out across the steel angles
and laced through these cold cables,
the air is as pure as God
and they are seeing
everything
that has been lost.

We are all of us on borrowed time.

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