The flowers on your coat don’t keep still

~ after Armando Valero, “The Little Singer

Day after day brings a panic—
stampede of mothers and children
and goats along a fence, involuntary
movement of arms shielding faces
from a violent spray of gas.
Which is to say, some dreams
seem more extravagant than
others, and yet there are those
among us who will walk for weeks
to touch one. Above, the planets
teeter in their own fire. Nothing
lasts. Or rather, everything ceded
in the end prevails. The goat bleats
and the yellow bird bugles to the moon.
You don’t see or hear the cost of this
pleading so I will illustrate with
the shape of my arms, with hands
making the gesture for warding off
what wants to kill or maim us all.

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