• Vol. 09
  • Chapter 05

Sipping the Mississippi

should be brighter
than reality, faster than life.
A tiny dynamo, Duracell-fuelled
moving more rapidly than we could ever see.
Neon-flecked, eye-hurting colours backdropped
by the wide, amazed sky of a Købke painting.
Only the bird remains un-stunned by the everlastingness
of the expanse, needle focused as it is on sweetness and light, Pantone matched to its surroundings.
Stitching nectar into its ruby throat.
Flittering over woodlands, soft meadows and tropical rainforests, always seeking, always hungry.
Until it reaches the great, mud-clogged artery of America, takes a sip and is trapped, as if a spell has been cast. Condemned to torpor from dusk till dawn.
Tainted nectar here.
Thrum slows to a funeral march,
vibrancy distilled into a faded and quaint illustration
a simulacrum, life sapped, preserved as if embalmed – trapped
between sheets of glass
or the pages of a
fat and dusty