These days the system is state of the art—scrims of smoke,
no odor. At least the neighbors don't protest
and the birds still gather on the tarred roof’s edge
around seeds pooled at drain tiles. We accumulate
and are dispersed at the traffic light out front, while within
this relay point of caskets and morgue lockers,
the husks of our fallen continue their diminishment.
We're all members of this committee, son. We serve
with our tanks full and our windows down
until in one moment
we are reduced to manila envelopes
of movie stubs, bus transfers and address books;
in another, to pollen ruffling
the overcast, distended cloud cover of the world.
The passing lanes, the turn signals, the green and yellow lights,
the no U-turn and school crossing signs,
they all lead here.
You’re old enough, now, for one dark suit and tie—
and to know exactly why
you’re uncomfortable wearing it.