Swimming Through Sidewalks

swept down sawdust streets
a rickety railroad belt clangs
like bones in a washing machine
cement seeping into pores,
turning muscle to marble,
swimming through sidewalks.
black beasts with yellow eyes and
wolfish grins, squeezing ink from the
heart, spreading.
a marionette, not standing, propelled
wooden limbs like lead
a struggle to stand
a dance to walk.
lies brewed and poured into a mug and
consumed each morning in some
bizarre ritual to stay sane.
a sneeze that won't come out.
lungs too shallow for breath
head too shallow for reason
a sniper outside your bedroom door
red laser dancing between
your eyes.
making jerky from the skin peeled
off your lips.
tossed in the washer and hung out
beaten to dry.

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