Kasper Salonen (b. 1987) is a bilingual performance poet, translator, visual artist, and literary activist. He has performed his rhythmically metaphysical poems and hosted cultural events for more than a decade in both English and Finnish, as part of collectives such as the Helsinki Poetry Connection. Salonen has also released two spoken word albums and two poetry collections, the most recent being his Finnish debut Kiertoreittejä in 2021 (Enostone Publishing).
Translated by Kasper Salonen
Kolkka / Kolkka
1. every interior is a leaking universe,
2. the world, a medieval tavern in a dwindling
My shoulder pads wrinkle in the rain and under
the straps of my bags. I drag billowing yellow with
me, gossamer. Why do I feel so festive? Like
arriving at an important but avoided occasion, full
of expectations, I don't know of what. I swat gnats,
their dance hatches. I've now arrived here in this land
that does not exist. I place the portable loudspeaker on
a small table, I dry and shape my hair. A zigzag swings
in the wind. Feels salty on the edge of sweet.
The balcony opens onto a courtyard. Standing in a
certain spot, you can see a sliver of sea like a mucous
membrane. The arrow-straight plunge of the rooftops
creates crossword puzzles, sideslipped notes, a Mikado,
and billiard cues.
Is that a hillock, a mountain, a hillside, a ridge, or a
precipice? It is drawn against the sky, against the sea
and the imperceptible. How does it array itself for each
observer? How do the mantles of morning and twilight?
And what about the articulation of black birds: an adaptation
of a consonant, or the other way around? How do the shadows
and skeletons of pale thin dogs mix with the beach sand, the
heat with the headache, and thirst with the desire to kiss?
The steppe, the plain, and the desert refer to a
flat horizon and wild horses but also to drought.
The mountains mean high-up vistas but obstacles,
the seashore shows the harbor and a hint of other
continents but also washed up trash piles and dead fish.
A concept squeezed to become fate loses its meanings.
Thoughts and feelings speed along as mini telegrams
through the silver screen of consciousness.
Red threads are floating in the air, algorithms, vertical
load-bearing pillars, horizontal bridge head cues, a few
rainbows and earplugs, moonlight.
I have just unpacked my luggage in my room. The mosquito
net makes my bed look like a large pink womb hanging from
the ceiling. I do not check the mattress, because I already
paid for the lodging. Through the mirror I can see into
the living room of the house opposite. The walls of the
building are mint green and cracked. The coarse
decorative designed are rotting like teeth in Coke.
The writing desk in my room is waiting for someone
to bend over it.
The wind flies into the stem, punctures the puncture,
becomes glued to a gallop, hears. A transparency glides
across the region, uncalcified white lava.
A child in the yard laughs an amazing terrifying laugh:
it doesn't seem to end at all, it always starts again as if
someone were lunging to tickle them, hitting the right spot,
continuing a little too long so that the tickling becomes pain
and as if after a nonexistent pause the tickling would commence.
The child does not get tired. The tickler does not get tired.
The same track begins over and over again, the laughter
expands in my ears to torture. Is that what it is? The laughter
is coming from the same direction as some cooking smells.
Someone is preparing food in an open tent. The rubbish is
tossed over the fence into a burning container.
Every customer seems to have brought their own radio,
playing music from each of their countries.
Vestments of impressions. Corridors, lobbies, waiting rooms.
To sleep quietly and alert. To strain in a dream. The need
to get lost.
An anchor tattoo on the tongue.
When we lose the ability to embellish, another phase begins.
My friend's martial art is called Monkey Corpse. Instead of
trying to squirm away, to create distance in any way possible,
the technique is to attach oneself to the attacker, to find a
closeness that paralyzes them. Makes them feel terror.
I think I see someone in the gloom, but it's only the
reflection of the banana in my hand in the window glass.
Concealment: a lighthouse evaporates in blue mist /
the clack of shoes after an electronic music show.
A room undressed even of undressing. But imagine
a pregnant white horse.
The universe in motion, garbage cans. History does
What is left if we remove the game and the competition?
The smell of nighttime eucalyptus is wafting here. It drives
me to read a book. What does the thought that all wars
would have been fought by women feel like? I'd like to
make a movie about it.
I want you to imagine that movie.
What is bison milk like?
The corner of an eye shines like the hood of a clitoris.
What story told to oneself keeps one's identity intact?
I hate to see a city for the first time, because then I see
everything for the first time. Internal speech is forced
to my lips, I try to control it. The waves strike back into
the sea as fog. Conglomerations, centuries-old
mentalities glaze the streets. How many realities are
you inhabiting? Without knowing? I mean survival
methods. Someone is just walking into the hostel
lobby with a tube of CD ROMs in their hand. Time
is folded into items and items into people. But a person
does not freeze to be frayed, rather they are transformed
into something else. A constant stream flows through the
body, internality and externality as overlapping tides.
The darkness of the mountain range sleeps in
unsurrendered blood, on its back.
A polar bear's fluff eats the pose, warmed ice floes
squeeze out information.
3. do not imagine that ambiguity is any less important
From what direction should the vista be described?
Storm Over a Landscape: maw and womb. From where
can I orient myself away from it, the landscape in my
coattails, as a particle? From where do I enter the
landscape, the nature of the angle of entry?
Some blinding shimmer. The flash of fish scales
in the morning haze: the wake of a halo, the smoothing
of a ripple, on the edge of a loop.
Some enchanting mist. It spreads into the gaps between
ruins and sheets like landed clouds. Two thirds are out of
sight. Foam, slats hidden in fog. Still traversible: the mist
is sifted through teeth and joints, the lighthouse light
somewhere. Bird voices within hearing distance, perhaps
imagined, asleep in flight. The remains of the cavalry brushed
to the side of the road, perhaps imagined, dead of exhaustion.
Some wisp of hair flickers, the smell of rotted corpses. Some
rhythm deep near the ground, pasts grooved into the eyes of trees.
The sharpened matte of light is shredding the mist sticky.
The gums of the swollen clouds crumble into drizzle.
Buffalores. Rodbats. The entrance grease of the walls
Fog appears on the enormous stage. Pastel-colored
unicorns gleam against the dark porous backdrop.
Waterfalls surge in just when you think there are no
more. Patriarchalism is dead. Gender and sexual
minorities no longer need to fight for their rights.
Economic inequality has vanished. Racism has unraveled.
The hegemony of the novel is over. No more greenhouse
gases are let into the atmosphere. The stage feels
simultaneously soft and sharp, clear and ambiguous.
Multi-generational metal chains frame its edges.
Social categories spread out as fanlike imageries.
This is how this is and I can see it. I walk into mud,
it feels good, the black damp mass sucks up my instep.
One-euro buckets have been placed here and there,
no one is queueing for them. The fog turns pink, green,
purple. Two swans are visible in the field. I say:
"Scenic phases, musical order, the reasons for martial
arts: the intact is always broken, the unbroken cannot
be whole." The field view opens an expanse in my breastbone.
This expanse is for support. This expanse is for scrutiny.
This expansa is for processing. The field is autumnal and
frayed, already surrendered to the wind. The yellow pierces
the back of my head through my pupil, is painted inside.
There is no one without this, there is no one without earth.
Menstrual blood on the back of a white horse.
The world is not for anybody.
But the history of which people will all of this
Värit / Värit
A cake slice tastes like all the products in the glass cabinet.
In the back there hovers a wilderness of mirages and guarded
apartments. The lip skin grows sores, the glow of lily-of-the-valley
and narcissus is highlighted against the darkness. The Adam's
apple is swallowed whole. The museum café softens in the middle,
fruits from the edges. Hair opens its lures and hints. Untitled Studies
of the Human Perception and Body. Marker and acrylic on paper.
A man has taken a large roll of bubble wrap from the car and
is carrying it now on the street. The bubble wrap flaps open
in front of him, opens gradually into him, the gap/taint opens
He stomps on the bubbles, his childhood summers, bubbles.
"It took a long time to blunt the blade of my youth," he thinks,
doesn't notice himself thinking. Under thinking there is another
layer glimmer. A woman is turning around a map in the street,
turning streets. Turning endlessly, helplessly, reads, makes
notes, dizzies herself. The hotel receives her gently. Opens a
corner, turns. The lobby's well-tended wall-to-wall carpet softens
and an unknown person's gentleness caresses. In dusk the lead
of the head emerges. How lightly it is drawn: the pen's brittled
carcass, the autumn of paper, the internal purple and the rampart
Is there anything more beautiful than autumn that is revealed
from under snow, I don't want to move it from leaning.
That which has leaped up to rust
creates stems, ducks among them
births itself on the shore among the stalks and mallards. The overtures
of hate and joy pierce the characteristic scent of the tomb, mildew.
A few conspiracy theories and rock types overlapping, the light
raises a soft spot. I turn inward, outward, I turn doubly in my skin:
to bring light to the falling
underbrush, impressions, in the swamp of encryptions
the shroud of the brain and the silence of the continent separate
as fibers toward the growth of hair
Separate the continent into the grain of hair.
These circumstances condense the fog and ambiguity into
clumps at eye level. It is difficult to move or touch anything.
It congeals, sucks its skin inward as if everything around it
were dirty, cold, and unjust. I can't say I'm not afraid. Those
who say they fear nothing do not know themselves. Perhaps
they don't fear the same things that most others do, or their
fear is disguised as as meticulousness or the routines that
are required to maintain strength; their mouth turns around
inside their head and starts to eat the head. I've trimmed off
everything irrelevant. Defining relevance is a matter of taste.
An old wooden table balances. The graininess and porous-
ness place any place and object in relation with itself. It's
like a mountain in the background of a landscape. The
wooden table and an iron Chinese teapot, a small flat
cup for my keys, and a bowl of fruit with its colorfully
festooned patterns form the center. Sounds easy! It even
sounds abundant, vain. It isn't easy. It's about where we
direct our attention. A reasonable resistance sharpens and
braces us surprisingly. High resistance either drives us off
the rails or to perform heroic acts. I can't carry very heavy
objects right now, my hands are exhausted. The temperature
is quite suitable, slightly cool. I don't think that mix between
a sheep and a cow can be brought to pasture here. We would
have to figure out who would take care of it, and how. How
does a disease spread? A sheep's coat, the shape of a cow,
a shrunken behind. The smallest rivers have dried up, too.
"I don't think this is your voice. Your throat is strange. Some-
thing has happened: you're not using your own voice." The
milk bubbles in clods. The receded gums of my canine
teeth are aching. One would never let another person rub
their eyes like one does themselves. I listen to the silence,
where I hear the muted whirr of machinery.
The softness of the meadows gliding past caresses
my cheeks to fur.
The waltzes of broken peace spin around like
enormous escaped cones in the school auditorium.
Backwardness anticipates the density and quality of the line,
especially its location.
A deep bow at each round like moving cemeteries
of systematically subdued flesh.
The futility of speech certainly slashes the ears to bleed.
This is a metaphor for a monastery building.
But to lick the cliffs of the hours; time and miracles in general.
A wind instrument rips the horses into the wind, in the desert,
As a doppelganger, the back room of a back room.
The opposite side of a subject. A presentation's margins.
The heart of the night leaks the liquid of night. My knees are
armored in the wind, the curtains between the stage and the atmosphere.
On the other hand the world as a historical relic, wrapped.
I feel the rainy forenoon in my forehead, it crimps it to pigskin
sausages that press my eyelids. The Victorian Pen Name
Generator gave him the name Mortimer Morrell at 4:20 PM.
Mortimer adds up the most important things in his life. He
lights a small campfire for their honor and performs a ritual he
just made up: Mortimer kneels in front of his fire. He starts to
bend and soften. He probes the most important things and
considers himself lucky.
The tourists have wandered for weeks on end. They finally
arrive in the valley tired and sweaty. The valley is so broad and
hilly, riverful and cavernous, so even and beautiful, that the
tourists begin to immediately undress their extra layers. Right
then the curtains heavy with millennia fall in the valley. The evil
laugh of the curtains, the thick dust, the twisted rails, and the
ingrained plays all fall. They fall in the bodies of the tourists, in
the past, in the still unrisen morning.
The rhythm and sound of an eagle's wings, the curve of flight.
An uninvestigated pattern, an uninvestigated mind. The lions
have gathered in the valley. They lie about in the heat. The
columns of the ruined buildings glow in the light, monuments.
To shift from one landscape to another. To leave some mind.
To leave the corpse of the landscape. To change the combination
of the landscape-corpse and my own. In the background I feel
torn time, the the compositions and blows of the past, the news
broadcast of early morning dreams. The tourists' struggle goes on
in the firth and the gorge. Zeal and hurry. Their questions, thirsts,
and equipment. Their difficult journey to the valley, all previous
Mortimer writes a word he invented in his notebook: andor.
"And" and "or". The difference is almost undetectable when
pronounced. Andor refers to layers of thinking that have been
born in different temperatures and pressures. They slide, the
layers switch to others either gradually or suddenly. Mortimer
thinks he especially likes rust-red and slightly sticky clay that
looks hard but actually crumbles easily.
Musta / Musta
I turn into the muzzle of a silent monochrome revolution,
into the gums of a crazed horse. The forest gallops wildly
burned by autumn. Figures and shapes emerge from the
smoke, flashes, gaps, scenes, platforms of memory, recol-
lections of a story, the boulders of bystanders, the pain of
history, the weight of abstraction. My body bends to this
silence as if to its one and only task. The terrain is drawn
out when my retina, my breastbone, the back of my head,
and the paper meet. The intersection point is leaking. It
changes and expands in the clutch of new retinas. The
writing strives to get out of the flesh. The throb, the weight:
a compulsive dense cluster dashes from body to body.
Valkoinen / Valkoinen
Again and again, I return to that which does not begin or end.
It has stopped on the back of a camel. The camel is moving.
The form of the movement is simple, but difficult to describe.
I'll return to this as if to an unfinished meal, which turns into
a painting of an unfinished meal. I've already left and returned
the next time. I imagine my own expression.
Some shared area. An internal sector and quality. The yell
of a whale, the motion of a squirrel, the gaze of a lion. The
desire to turn into a tree. The desire to become as sincere
as an animal. The desire to meld, to melt into the landscape.
To become the landscape.
The moon belongs to the sea, the sea to the waves,
unopened boxes in the waves. Animals gather to the shores
at night. Their fur and feathers swish against each other. The
nocturnal quiet and beauty of the shores... I am a muted muscle,
stiff. Some wanderers can be seen as if they were reflections
or mirror images. The silence neither comes nor goes. It floats
and carries. Have I learned to speak, to write, and to walk: is
there any shelter, are there anymore enemies?
Turkoosi vyöhyke / TURKOOSI VYÖHYKE
[a current event]
has rebounded off you
you say: blaaaaaaah, fuck this shit
you say: I should do something
you say: I dunno
a naked lamp has been made more modest
with a tattered nylon sock thrown on
you pour fizzy water for your monstera plant, you demand sincerity
from the little draft that lives with you
between the streetside window
and the gap in your longing
you lift feelings
with your back, not with your legs, not always your own ones, either
you get a message from him/her and suddenly there is sand in your teeth
an unfamilar landscape has made its nest in words
it jostles like the shoulderblades of sedentary workers
it is turquoise and plain
its erosion and erosion
tear at the tongue-flesh so it can bloom on its own
it doesn't open anywhere
it has no place from which to open
there is something parasitical about that
I wanna dream, not nostalgicize. nostalgia is dreaming
for those who think dreaming is too naive or gay and
they present themselves as rationalists in public forums.
you are unraveling a woolen sweater that your mother had knitted for him/her for Christmas
you've already unraveled all the socks your mother ever gave you, you caress
the thin skin of your sentence, already hope
is glinting through speech that has been worn translucent
you know that unraveling is not a form of destruction
it is the liberation of possibilities
you awake to the sound of an orange lawnmower
you don't remember this ever happening before
but you also don't remember ever seeing
the grass this tall
cold tiles, cut hairs prickle the soles of your feet
for a moment you remember everything
that it is so hard to believe, you make out
melodies in your tinnitus
as you are taking the facial cream out of the bathroom cabinet
the sleeve of your dressing gown catches on his/her toothbrush
it falls to the floor
the bristles are in bad shape, he/she
brushes too hard
you pick up a credit bill off the floor
you wipe the hairs onto the envelope with your hand, throw
everything in the trash, clippings and all
you stop next to the trashcan, it is digesting tons of spring-cleaning clutter
like a dumpster-dived pitcher plant
a porcelain angel in fast food styrofoam
with relish and ketchup make-up on
a cardboard box, with FREE TO TAKE scrawled on the side
and there's a small pink stuffed elephant toy
it's made of a material
you don't feel like caressing
the abandoned bastard child of swishing his-and-hers jumpsuits.
I know you will take it with you and you'll take it and hug it and
your bedside is lined with stuffed animals that nobody wants
it is a mass grave but you are a necromantic
you give them life and character with your presence
it's impossible to know who you are without first knowing where you are
pet stones, cattle, stuffed animals, you
you mustn't stare at anything too long
because then everything else vanishes around you
everything has a mirrored surface
that's why two alone is the same as one alone
and when you count your change at the till and coins are falling
from the hole in your wallet and your focus
it's hard to accept that there is no farther, outer ring to inhabit
that this is outside of everything else, a sausage skin
whose contents are asbestos dust and hogwash
microplastic dew on the spread-out rubber tree leaves
the cashier watches you with disdain and says:
everything that comes naturally to animals
comes to humans in their dreams
but you stuff change into your wallet
you lie to the cashier
that you're getting over a shoulder surgery
you apologize for your poor motor skills
you want the cashier to feel bad
about their own conduct
and this is the fastest way you do it
you have bought him/her a new bamboo toothbrush
even though he/she has not been expected home in a while
he/she even considered sub-letting his/her room
your evening routines include
charcoal toothpaste, a shower, and neurological misanthropy
you don't think the way you feel
you have the nervous system of Linkola or Bukowski, you hate them
you hate them with all your heart
your stuffed toy elephant
sometimes when I wake up I find audio messages from you on my phone
some conversation that you finished up in the shower by yourself
and that now needs someone to make it real
yesterday you sent a good night message at 11:16 pm
and a two-minute voicemail at 3:04 am
about how all hatred
is a by-product of decomposing love
your tone of voice hard in the way that filled-up things are
I don't know if you believe in this or if you're just trying to understand yourself
I don't know if there is any difference between the two
at night our brains shitpost about what must be true
simply because it feels bad
it's safe to believe in evil
WhatsApp: Last seen 06:22 am
you claim that companionship cannot create political theory
but if the parts of our relationship
were removed like plugs
I would carry the flag of that conviction
as the turquoise flows the streets
all silence is like other silences
every silence is silent in its own way
usually you feel it right away and deeply,
which absence of sound silence is
but you're sitting on an unevenly lacquered stool
and speaking, outside
a motorcyclist pumps the throttle with gusto
social insulating foam and whipped cream
in the hubbub buzz of the next table over
you stir your coffee even though you took it black
your spoon chinks against the sides of the cup
there is silence
there is a silence that is a gigantic canyon across the city
speech barely touches its edges
I cannot imagine a sound that could fill it
at midday we receive word that he/she has died
fetch his/her belongings from her room with a spare key
the edges of your coffee cup, the frames of your attention
you laugh that you have no personality before your morning brew
drinking coffee is what happens when nothing happens
I can't help but notice how much
people talk about coffee
catnip is growing
from the gravesites that were collectively negotiated back to soil
stray cats have spread themselves like a breathing mat of moss
near to the plants
they purr, their half-tame half-beast-drool dribbles from their mouths
into the earth bought by corpses
a gaze folded into contented slits
moves from cat to cat, into us, into the wall of the apartment building
worn to goosebumps
where it spreads, opens
the rusting steel of the element casting
its opaque vertical pupil
the wild dregs of governance
in the bones of power
but nothing implies that tomorrow
is descended from today
this area is not a time but a place
risen from the surface of time, blossomed to be homeless
like any zit or startup
we have wandered here by accident
while searching for a place to pitch our tents
farther away from the city of the seven-day sweet tooth week
that lives on high-voltage candy
when you relinquish power, you have to accept your ephemerality
that you won't stay, you won't remain, you will waver and vanish
as change always vanishes
the 30-krona vanilla scoop at the ice cream stand
in the tyranny of summer heat waves
and you eat it, in a hurry, in a way
the forehead of the pink stuffed toy elephant in your backpack
is torn, neither of us know how, you joke
that it was struck by a sharpened beam of sunlight
and if you rise up high enough
you can see
a nameless accountant's
bitumen-filled Excel spreadsheets
I just realized I haven't changed my underwear in three days
and it feels like there's nothing I can give to the future except
myself, and that I know it doesn't want me, it just gets me really
hot and bothered, y'know, you say and
I feel like you're not thinking of me
you say kis kis, you think
about time disappearing into extinction
and you call that the future
the tails of the cats swish, they're unable to wash off
the shadow of the apartment building
something has splintered off of a thought
somewhere between birth and a hamburger gift card
wrenched itself free
from the submission of precise boundaries
it is turquoise, but mostly something else
you look at the cats
you look at the cats and you weep
the ice cream runs down your fingers
he/she really is dead
has stepped from time into color
Varisto / VARISTO
THE SUREST WAY TO RELINQUISH ONE'S POWER IS
TO SEE THE WORLD
IF YOU SPREAD THE UNIVERSE
ALONG THE VOID
SO THAT GRAVITY AFFECTS
EXACTLY AS MUCH
BALL BEARINGS ON A FULLY FLAT SURFACE
LETTERS IN A FORGOTTEN LANGUAGE
NOTHING WOULD MOVE
ALL MOTION IS CAUSED BY AN ABSENCE OF BALANCE
EVERYTHING THAT IS, IS DEFICIENT
EVERYTHING THAT IS, IS SOMETHING
EVERYTHING THAT IS, IS CAUSED BY AN ABSENCE OF BALANCE
THE FIRST GIGANTIC HYDROGEN CLOUDS
THE LONELINESS OF HELIUM ATOMS
ALPHA CENTAURI AND THE HEAVY METAL SIGHS OF STARS
QUASARS AND BONJOUR, THE INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION
A TERROR ATTACK IN BEIRUT
BURNING LIBRARIES AND MUSSOLINI
BAMBI AND SHAVED ARMPITS
ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER WIGGLES OFF
HIS LAST DROPS OF PISS
WHILE MAKING LIGHTSABER NOISES
EVERYTHING MOVES TOWARD ITS OWN SENSE OF BALANCE
NOTHING CAN EVER STOP
THERE IS ALWAYS SOMETHING FATEFUL ABOUT THE WAY THINGS ARE
ALL ADJECTIVES HAVE SOMETHING VERB-LIKE
EVERYTHING HAS A CONSTANT NEED TO BE SOMETHING ELSE
BECAUSE ONCE YOU'VE BECOME SOMETHING THERE IS NO CHOICE
BUT TO BECOME SOMETHING ELSE
A HOBO NAMED jOHNNY IS PITCHING HIS TENT
HOPING THAT HE WILL GAIN ACCESS TO THE EMPTINESS
A NEWLYWED COUPLE IS BUILDING A HOUSE
IN ORDER TO CREATE AN EMPTY SPACE FROM UNFAMILIAR MEANINGS
A tAOIST LISTENING TO WHITE NOISE ON yOUtUBE
GRASPS THE EMPTINESS BY DRAWING A CIRCLE
A FETISHIST WHO HAS INTERNALIZED THE MORALS OF THEIR COMMUNITY
SUCKS ON THE TOE OF THEIR SLEEPING PARTNER WHILE TRYING
TO MAKE OUT THE OUTLINE OF THEIR WANT
THIS PLANET HAS A GOLDEN PANDA PLUSHIE
EXISTENCE ENVIES EMPTINESS THROUGH HUMANITY
ITS BALANCE AND LACK OF APPEARANCE-RELATED PRESSURE
HOW IT CAN BE SO FULL IN ITSELF WITHOUT BEING FULL OF ITSELF
TO YEARN FOR THE PRE-BIRTH STATE
RATHER THAN THE POST-MORTEM STATE
THESE ARE DIFFERENT TO SOMEONE WHO ALREADY IS
EVEN THOUGH EVERYTHING WAS BORN FROM EMPTINESS
THE EMPTY CAN NEVER BE BORN
LUNGS DEEP UNDER THE DAY
NOTHING CAN EVER STOP
Avaruuskissojen leikkikalu / AVARUUSKISSOJEN LEIKKIKALU
someone kicked the bucket but
hit the night like a stray dog that
yelped and fled limping behind the horizon
where it died in the vacuum
a bloodstain is a sundial that light
colorizes, and light dropped down to replace the dead night
a kettlebell from the hand of a ripped cloud
once roads were named after the dead
and you would have deserved an entire market square
but the city could not part with a single
I will build you a road by toppling a wall on its side
the city of the dead is never complete
I'm not ready yet to give you
an entire square
we rise from bar tables
leaving bottles reserving places
half-filled with meanings
but we rather hope they are
because a person holding a Molotov cocktail
is never asked if their bottle
is half empty or half full
and if we only had the courage to be angry
we would never return here
but we still have our bread
the moon is grumbling against an abandoned car on the beach
the rust grows into the sand
today a tree will grow an exhaust pipe instead of a branch, people
will gather around the tree, look
at their hands, their torsos, but
no one is growing any
not a single branch
but we still
have our bread