It is the end of May Day
And people flood the streets

While making a howling
Sound they have flags that gutter 

In what wind there is at night

They are wrapped in them
Their mouths open onto throats

They are raucous because
There was no planned march

Called for by an organization

They put their hands in the air
They flood the streets on cue

They kiss each other
Like sailors after the war

Their faces are flushed red
Or chalked white
They take photos of each other and
The crowd of those they do not know

It is the end of May Day
But they are not in the street

Because they have to work
Or because they do not work

Because there may be something
To insist upon in how this has

Been loathed and made a principle
Of trying to become an other crowd

Because the bodies that would be
That crowd get busted and mocked

Exhausted and broke
Before they can fully open what

Like their dragging out
Over owed and into the years

Would have been said
With hands

Which now merely is: 
It is the start

Of May and the crowds 
Have gathered

Because a man has been killed
And blood seeps into a carpet

Because one yarn of
The Gordian knot

Of the last ten years, in
The pursuit of which,

The knot was drawn tighter
And varnished and

Took to the air

Spread itself through arid 
Mountains and over villages

And dropped, whistling small

Like a whole flock
Of glass kites

Into those villages, because one strand
Has been unwound and is

Now frayed across the world
And gets into the lungs

Of the howling crowd
In whose joy there is the case

That red and white greasepaint
Is put on and smeared as the shouting

Is a heat, not just a volume

It was not a decade yet
The decade snipped

Four months ahead of itself
Two and a half months before

It had been ten years since Carlo
Giuliani was shot and run over

Twice for being part of a
Crowd which is not this one

It would have been ten years
In December since Corralito

And the crowds that went
Into supermarkets and took out

What everyone needed
But this is not to be the case

This has been the shortest
Twenty-first century possible

Less than a decade in
Before it, finding its

Closure, rewinds itself back
Over these years and

The terrain that is not
Flat but is made up

By wearing down and of 
Other people filling space for

Wanting the end of the
Arrangement that ruins

The rewinding scratches the
Tape and when we will drag

It back forward we cannot
But see grooves scored

Into it like a kill
And the valleys, seen

From above, that chart out
A thin line between mountain

And village
We do not have the thought

To do the mathematics
That would calculate the distribution

Of the many fields of the dead
And the ravenous time

Of those doomed to not yet be


Anonymous said...

The Long Twentieth Century gave way to the Really, Really Short Twenty First Century?

socialism and/or barbarism said...

That's how it felt last night in any case. Or at least, that a decade that seemed to inaugurate a century came to a close, by coming back to the basic sight of people chanting the name of their country while holding anti-Osama signs, and with that closure/return, the end of a sequence.