what duty means to meat

we know the precise thickness of the human skull.
we are addicts of amphetamines meant for pack-horses.
we squint into manholes. we have circled
gunshops and fueling stations in black ink.

we sharpen pool cues and wait for the zombies to come.

when we drink, the coffee is always black, always
dirty. we watch the radio, stir the grey muck of napalm
in cracked bathtubs, cheap bar-soap dissolving through kerosene.
we dum-dum rounds on the broken edges of card-tables
and dream of landmine schematics. we have read molotov.
we have practiced on cadavers.

we are necessity, greater than hope.

we have marked defensible basements
with tattoos on tenement brick, messages left
by knifepoint: scratched ankhs,
teardrops. we have dug tunnels,
we have cached scalpels:
not weapons, means of escape.

we dream campfires on rooftops, signal fires,
murdered skies, big wheels, tripwires and barricades.
we are monkey’s last stand,
and the tawny pyre of metropolis
burning, and we are the smoke
voiding the horizon. we are
paladins, we are meat, breathing on,
and our destiny the destiny of meat,
and our flag a sawn-down pole;
and greater than hope
is the hope they will come.

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