Marc McKee

First we are dirt and then we are dirt.
Or spit. It is dangerous to be certain.
In between, there is much registration,
miles of black electrical tape.
Typical installation is a cloud of tiny razors
mimicking the processes
of the circulatory system and then
appropriate gift wrap must be applied
and maintained. Room temperature is nice
unless the room is of a temperature
calamitous to gift wrap. Once installed,
make sure to close the choke
around the power cable.
Aren’t you attractive, all dolled up
like a recreational vehicle? Now,
cry our futile lords, now is the time
for zippers and latches, now is the time
for tightening the prevailing system
around the flabbergasted core
throwing itself spastically everywhere
like lava with a desire to go for a walk
amongst the commoners. Our interests
and our interests’ interests must be protected
by the vestments sewn in the name
of the cartoonish thesis we follow
day by day into battles against the idea
that we are modest dirt rhapsodizing
and rhetoricizing in a small corner
of a gigantic playground, accidental
and magnificent. When palm trees stand
beside the road like swaybacked 12 year olds
at a middle school dance, that is okay,
but when these trees look askance
at our puppeteered susurrations,
they are asking for a dungeon with a broken key.
We are all the time worried,
it is exhausting and profitable.
When noon achieves its full lunacy,
gift wrap will be outlawed,
as well as the untoward figures
sound makes. Then, only weapons
will be allowed to communicate.

Marc McKee is the author of What Apocalypse? (New Michigan Press, 2008), Fuse (Black Lawrence Press, 2011), and Bewilderness (Black Lawrence Press, 2014), as well as the collections Consolationeer and Meta Meta Make-Belief, forthcoming in late 2017 and early 2019, respectively, from Black Lawrence Press. His work appears widely in journals that included, most recently Conduit, Copper Nickel, Crazyhorse, H_NGM_N, Laurel Review, Memorious, and Rockhurst Review. He teaches in Columbia, MO, where he lives with his wife Camellia Cosgray and their son, Harold.