When the river at last has fled its bed


                  we parse the difference between
                                jealousy and envy
                                             & carry curved sticks
                                             pointing nowhere.
Unlike water      we wander    beyond banks.
The damaged world seeps,
           corrodes battery terminals,
                                                      collects cans        far below       in benthic canyons
& as meanings go, was never meant for this
salvation through guilt.        If it can burn, it has         been burning:
this is the nature of fuel,                         which is only ever        one thing
         until it breaks
                                                    into heat,              into light.

Michael Mercurio