Requiem (distorted)

then, I want the dead returned,
by the song that played them off

& if the punk anthem that fuels an Arkansas mosh pit

undulating sound & blood/ moist with liquor-sweat
is the swan song of a south/midwest
that is losing its only Wal-Mart tomorrow

& all the punk youth of the town are here, crashing

their warm branches against one another
so that the lights are turning
this raucous organism into a kaleidoscope

& nobody can quite tell what the screaming vocalist is saying

but they all know what he means
since this song could not be about anyone’s ex
or anyone’s dying town
or anyone’s loneliness
but their own

& the pit’s average time since attending Sunday service

is 3.6 years/ not long enough
and the town church is an outro
to a song that should’ve ended a while ago

I want an encore, or anything
that keeps the lights on next door

in the only Chinese restaurant in town,
where the punks will go after the concert ends,
where the owner slowly loses words
from his mother tongue – I want the song to keep going

even if the owner’s queer son died swinging
six summers ago and nobody knew where
to put his body but far away
from the highway/ in a field of overgrown weeds

because there must always be a home, or, at least, a cemetery
to return to, when the mosh pit is finished

& the bruises have set in
& the punks exhale into the cold night to see the shape of their lives
& the neon “open” sign surrenders to the night
& the owner imagines the half moon a pregnant belly

& Tycho, his wife’s navel

& he knows it is waning

but hopes it is waxing

to a moonlight resurrection accompanied
by the anthems of small town riff-raff

& if this time, the yellow boy lives
& if this time, the wind and rope do not take him
& if this time, the town cradles him like a dying grandmother
& if time is not a melody which must become an echo, but a moon, forever returning
& a stage dive, mid-flight

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