In the country, they burned all of you.
Croppers, with their electric fences and silos and shotguns.
In the city, we weren't so smart.
When your people came down from the stars
we put you in jails and cellars and basements,
but we let you live.
You, I let live.
At first you yanked at the knob, desperate.
Now you scratch it out of habit.
The stars have evaporated.
What’s that about, I wonder?
You won’t tell me.
I lean against the closet that’s become yours.
Through the broadening
crack beneath the door,
your light leaks around me
as if coming from a severed vein.
Please, please. Your voice
is like static, the echo and whine
of a canticle coming
in and out of focus, the station
not quite right. Please.
After all I’ve said, is that the only word
you know? You know,
I’m trapped too.
Can’t just walk out of this apartment.
I pass the time getting drunk and watching
your brethren, fiends in the streets, blood staining
their throats. Their voices
mellifluous and beautiful.
Limbs stretched and translucent, silhouettes
flaring bright as glass
melting in a kiln, repeatedly
A grace and a terror
The world has done this to you, not me.
Some promise must have been broken
between your lord and mine.
Please, you ask again, pressing against the door.
I can feel the heat seeping through the wood,
your face so close to mine.
At the bottom of the door
where you are making the hole
a petal of burnt ash
I wonder how long it will take
for you to reshape a gap
large enough for you
to come out.
Will you let me live.
You don’t tell me.
Just a scratching, please.