7



Her breath catches.  I am white heat and ashes.

"I tore it outta the flesh of the world."

I am thundering to the annexes,

mad like a king, but only a herald.

My house is broken, cursed and divided. 

My lands are taxed, levied and barren.

I stand in the dancehall, a dimeshow crier:

"Visions of hell and glimmers of heaven!"

Not thrifty, not cunning, not friendly, not well.

Not nice to the in-laws on family picnics.

Promising all that a lie can foretell:

snake-oil massage, and vinegar vinic.

Recanted tropes of temperance forbidden,

as my seeking hand lies half forgiven.