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).