Hot words

Slather the walls in silence

you will not blast clean
the history of this hothouse,

mote-rich Colosseum, slant-lit
wreaks of phone numbers and phalluses
that would stand beside gladiators,

O slaves, caveman, secret delinquents:
walls were only ever built for naming.

Slapdash conversations and snide declarations,
remnants of these conquests won
in toilet hours

where constipated voices
prize saintly pens from bags
admitting their most hidden thoughts
to all and none.

Smacked by a bigger brush
a stronger hand adds another stripe,
another stratum to this confessional

white-washing verbal filth,
disinfecting moral outrage
humanity’s desperate cries
to the moon, to mankind
to the unwritten places
with the swash of a brush.

Even this, surely, is history.
Even this expelling of voiceless words
and inner furies

unites with history
someone’s history
somewhere.

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