OCTOBER 19, 2022

Die or Pause

Three faded women wandered,

bit by bit, across the bitumen.

Here is your lot, one shouted as I passed.

Sleek SUVs, boxy sports cars, each a lane

and a half in acreage, go nowhere.

Instead, dead drivers and cars stranded,

a deleted scene from a Radiohead

video. Humans jilted by metal

myrmidons. Here and no further.

Said Christine and Christine. Here,

heads are slivered by exploded airbags,

their throats throttled by seatbelts.

The undeclared war now has a foe

or folly. Further on, cars are overgrown

by towering grass, humans too. Fossilised

fools. Concrete cracks, tar slithers

back to the core. We will drive

no more, the drives dictate; later planes

and pipelines too mandate. I wander lonely

in that crowd. Those still breathing slump.

Then slow, stop, and sink.


Bright orange butterflies swarm

insensate on sacred firs.

Adrian Harte is Irish but has lived in Switzerland for twenty years. He has been published in the Peregrine Journal, Vita Poetica, Embryo Concepts Zine, Roi Fainéant Press, and Abridged. He has also written Small Victories: The True Story of Faith No More (Jawbone 2018).