The mind’s brain is a poor bulwark.
I would wake stiff but well, sough the heartsick,
even as they rap cold and dully against plank and batten.
They imagine Albion in flake and amber;
would have sanctuary in fluid gold spiked with lazy gas,
and burnished, luffing corn fat with warmth in cured leaf.
In the paperbarks the beetling grubs fear no rebate from the drying sun
even as their surest shelter shears away from trunk and trusted tunnel.
Amber is a warmth become already sick and voided;
all else is burned to wretched ash, a worser dust.
The mind’s brain is the poorest bulwark.
Unwell, it sets unwilling limbs to motion
(always motion, only motion).
The earth smells oversweet for all it holds.
The cicadas haul their blackslick bodies upward, outward,
roused by lunar gravity, clawing limbs bent only on holding.
They pause for an alien moment to cherish an ideal;
their own winged forms fanned against the reedy light of a selfish moon.
Shining as though with afterbirth and clad in rich mud
or greased with clay loam poor and sticky,
they are trampled underfoot.