Amidst the Smoke and the Rubble (She Held Her Breath)

This work is 6 X 6 but framed as a 12 X 12. It needs that room to breath. If you can't go Big, go Small. Pay attention to the details...things change.

Things do not change

Concord Hymn
Sung at the Completion of the Battle Monument, July 4, 1837

By the rude bridge that arched the flood,
   Their flag to April’s breeze unfurled,
Here once the embattled farmers stood
   And fired the shot heard round the world.

The foe long since in silence slept;
   Alike the conqueror silent sleeps;
And Time the ruined bridge has swept
   Down the dark stream which seaward creeps.

On this green bank, by this soft stream,
   We set today a votive stone;
That memory may their deed redeem,
   When, like our sires, our sons are gone.

Spirit, that made those heroes dare
   To die, and leave their children free,
Bid Time and Nature gently spare
   The shaft we raise to them and thee.

The Barbed Wire Nest
They are dropping smart bombs on the glue factory.
They are sending saber-toothed drones into the bakery.
They are inseminating the migrant seamstress
And repopulating the mountain states
With mutant jackals and polyethylene waterfalls.
They are selling our skin cells to the cosmetic surgeons.
They are dismembering nude mannequins
And stacking the spikey limbs in the courtyard
So you can climb the pile and peek over the barbed wire
For a glimpse at the newly upholstered boardroom
Where they are declawing the help staff
And drafting the bill to outlaw the law.
They plan to kick us with steel-tipped boots
Then they'll stuff us with arsenic and gag us
With clumps of hot tar. They'll assassinate the cartoonists
And fuck each other on hardbacks in the library
Before incinerating the archives with antique flamethrowers.
They'll arm the snowmen with Uzis
And bury the bookkeeper under the mossy rocks
In the backyard With the beekeeper
And the beehive's desiccated hull.
They'll take a breach, have a smoke,
And paint our eyelids shut with organic honey—
So while I still have a face inside my face
I try to look at them with the most objective eye
And hold the breath inside my breath
Until a flood of light washes over my body
And when the body has been consumed
The server brings back my debit card
And the thin slip of paper and the almost inkless pen
And when I turn to sign the paper
The strap of my dress falls over my shoulder.
The pendant nest suspends the breeze.
The sunflower swivels its shadow.

Nathan Hoks, "The Barbed Wire Nest" from Nests In Air.  Copyright © 2021 by Nathan Hoks.  Reprinted by permission of Black Ocean.
Source: Nests in Air (Black Ocean, 2021)