Alembic

Alembic: an apparatus used in distillation;
something that refines or transmutes as if by distillation

Time’s a flask, narrow at the waist or neck
depending on who swings the apparatus— Who gives
the order to intercept the ordinary citizen
on his way to or from work, salvage the journalist
called to witness; open fire on the NGO convoy
in pickup trucks loaded with rice, canned goods,
medical supplies, used clothing? In hamlets live
the poor and dispossessed, the ones whose farms
swelled, flooded; and drowning, made way for dams
in the government’s new hydroelectric project.
Their votes don’t count. Or do they? Their number
slight, equivalent to the powdered ash that falls
from wings of bodies that nightly hurl themselves
into the lantern’s crucible of trembled light.

 

In response to an entry from the Morning Porch.

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