I just learned to fly this thing & we’re low on fuel*

It’s really over & in the end, what left us was our minds 

they lifted the soft anchors that kept us tethered to ourselves, 

to our lovers, to a new season of dresses that defined

who we were for a day with an accuracy that compelled

a cough, a stutter, a language that spoke with a bite, it came 

with a chasm of ills, a system of escape routes, it came 

on the release of a patriotic whoop. Our hunger claimed

us, defined us, never enough wars or steak dinners or blame

to fill all the soft parts of us that squelch between the teeth. 

Empty bellies wage war & famine raises the hardest hands

& excess is a heavy head over the weakest shoulders that feeds

on the brittle bones that raised it.  What I mean is you can 

feed them or you can let them starve & folks will do as they do – 

sense is a hard-sell pitch & brains are a commodity too.

* this poem is inspired by “Dawn of the Dead” (1978)

LE Francis is a recovering arts journalist writing poetry & fiction of varying length from the rainshadow of the Washington Cascades. Find her online at nocturnical.com.

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