Ratio: signal to noise

Hieroglyphs
Rattling in the vaulted dome,
Words, characters
Strange voices
In the temple
Clamouring for audience.
Listen.
This is what happens.

Waking to sound of glass
Alarm maybe gunshot
Must be shooting
A movie. Absurd.
This time of night.
And next morning boarded up
Shop, yellow police tape stretching, do not cross.

This is what happens.
In the beginning, a fire in the head.

And the Chabad House of Kitsilano,
10 min. by bus from the university,
Burned out, awning in tatters, graffiti
On the window melted, scorched
Poster: Let’s Welcome Messhiach

And this seen from the bus,
No questions asked and
Nothing in the papers.
Unnoticed by others or
At least no one says
Anything, just keeps talking
About

David’s house on the weekend it was so cool
you should’ve been there we smoked a couple of joints and
went down to the beach and started a fire and
Johnny took off all his clothes and screamed
LAST ONE IN and some of the others followed
even Jen and they all screamed the water was so cold and no
not me I stayed at the fire with Sean and we laughed and
then the cops came and poured out all our beer
and

So on
Till Yew Street, getting off
Two stops early just to be alone
With a headache
Again and still
Moving all that helpless smoke
Of words
(Ashes, ashes . . .)
Smudging.

© Mark Milner

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