If/Then

if fire cracks the mirror
then clouds may part to reveal her face

if night passes like a kidney stone
then the box is returned unopened

if the damp gets irrevocably in
then an unequivocal answer will be found

if the suburbs are raided
then your recipe will be forever changed

if we ignore first principles
then insects will tire of carrying us

before I’ve started I
give up on this little
story surrounded
by the almost noise
of air conditioners
slow unseen aircraft
the last breath of
why can’t I just

 

stop me if you’ve heard this one

 

but no it’s just
from here we see
trees burning birds
thud to the ground
apartments collapse
spilling canned peas
and plastic dolls into
a stream and clouds
and clouds and clouds

though the team was broken up we still hoped that somehow we would triumph over the league of loners though we were weak and needed supplies and spicy food with which to regain our competitive edge and as the day finished drawing obscene doodles in the clouds through the gaps in the tall buildings we occasionally glimpsed the blimps of our enemy scanning for weaknesses to exploit though this all feels like ancient history since the hastily written but iron-clad armistice ushered in the new golden age no one really wanted

Remember to

Forget what you know sit softly
lulled by the sound of hundreds of
pens simultaneously writing down
your mistakes think of clouds
over that chasm you love

Forget the ad that is following you
keep sharpening your teeth into points
we’ll see if we can find a knife and a few

layers of breathable fabric as you
start off stinging wind your boot brittle
grass bright crunch beneath

Forget it and start again don’t think of pathogens
the tickle in your throat give the pills a chance

outside flashes of red flowers one ant
carries his scrap of stone down into the dark