Entering Dark Houses

Secure behind uniformed guard, palisade fence,
late afternoon spins atop
Gothic spire of railside church.
A lime green fastback rumbles muscular
at a red light corner, paused in joining
the food distribution lane.
cracking blocks of ranch-style houses,
random paint jobs, brown patch yards
roll in precincts for ragged miles.
Flags at half-mast, half-charred,
the Homeland Guard trade
Wanted posters, talking points,
trial transcripts from a kidnap court.
The debate is China fright,
rights recovery, coup or insurrection.
Night delivered,
white star flares descend,
shimmering like neon over water
rushing from a broken main.
Matte grey cars sunder the roadways,
convoy with Hummers, Dodge Rams.
White tribe tattoos stripe arms flexed
around riot shield, shotgun cradled for a crutch.
A lie will find a fool to believe it.
Armed grievance yields a simpleton’s image,
defeat at point of attack—
disease masks, disability, mercy’s obligation.
A stalking mob admits its failure.
History is faced alone.

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