Time has long passed that you could rob the fattest bank in america

— Kim D. Hunter

time has long passed that you could rob the fattest banks in america
and spread the money and names
of true criminals
where either would do the most good

we have lost every secret place
where the wind could relieve you of your name
where electricity does not swallow light
and gently vomit motor noise
invisible and deafening

so we must sing
other public secrets
rent to own
paycheck to paycheck
hand to mouth

***

ended up on television in the emergency room
waiting to pay
for something fried and unrecognizable
numbers answered every question

if you need safe passage
to be here now

said the nurse
who was almost too tired to breathe

then you must go where they house and warehouse
songs of true love
open kangaroo court prosecution of
black lung power grids
end of life loans
bloated corpse food service
you must visit the library
where you can borrow the mindset
of the one who wrote

he’d give up all his comfort
and sleep out in the rain
if she said that’s the way it ought to be

a museum of lost and untenable rivers
night in the moon’s hands
the no missile defense program
a vaccine
against the scourge of moneysellers
an open mouth kiss
a clearing in the clearing

May-June 2017, ATC 188

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