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

squawking

through the radium-pierced

windows

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

judas

quenching proverbial thirsts

by the oil drums

between the cresting wings of

dragonflies

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

baptized

for overthrown cathedrals

sobriety

flees

from the toppled gallows

over the quaking flack berm

laughing

with a schoolmaster’s switch

flashing, from their emaciated waistband

a half-cocked luger

fix tight

your bleary gaze

pay attention

about-face

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

soot

colors drain, bleating

pipe dreams for a barbed missoula

a desecrated turin

dissipate

if there was any

we never did

resting in two palms propped wide

searchlights grow dim

savoring the brush

tacked to the undulating

halftrack

hills.

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