Radium Tears Swim in the Cowlings of Departed Wrights
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“Betty Grable’s boys are going heavenwards,”

they say

cutting their teeth

on necklaces torn from artemisia

the spread-eagled petals

tapered with the hastened edge

of carcano bayonets


through the radium-pierced


perfumed at the flaking seams

in double aught

pantone grain

but it ain’t for me

never did

drowning in a concerted oasis

ramparted at the knees

by glass pigment ampules

clamped down with the canines

lacerating the gums

cup your hands

for a fleeting drink


quenching proverbial thirsts

by the oil drums

between the cresting wings of


sharpening their mandibles

no more, no more

tepid sensations of divinity

gauges twinkle, needles leap

famished—full bloom

in the choking exhaust

first on the flight-line

twelve warheads


for overthrown cathedrals



from the toppled gallows

over the quaking flack berm


with a schoolmaster’s switch

flashing, from their emaciated waistband

a half-cocked luger

fix tight

your bleary gaze

pay attention


dividends spiral

shearing a golden wing

from your empty pocket-watch

it falls, arrested by no talons

no liberties

to kiss

your sordid lover

a nymph

curled about in a daybed

of talcum-octane sigils

tugging at the hems

while the skies churn

stuffed dark with eighty-eight mil


colors drain, bleating

pipe dreams for a barbed missoula

a desecrated turin


if there was any

we never did

resting in two palms propped wide

searchlights grow dim

savoring the brush

tacked to the undulating




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