Variations on a Theme

The dampness of an indoor swing poplar, the unfamiliar echoes of volcanos bouncing off of watermark, high cells, hard timekeepers, slags.

The first generation, they say, to expect less than their parents, repeated first as prophecy, then as farce, then as jeremiad. Corporate idiots, she says, in Iowa, paying six figures to learn javascript they’ll never use, never need, it’s a sinecure, who wouldn’t put take the offer? The door is already swinging shut behind them.

Diving boast rouse as sap, three foothills of aircrew above ten foothills of watermark.

Early memories of war footage, missing school to watch the bombs fall, the tight exultant faces of the newsmen waxing poetic over the bright bloom of explosions in the night, the oilfields that will burn for months or years, the cities laid to waste, the preening self-congratulation of a tidy war, a quick war, in and out in under a year, hailed as liberators.

We are well-practiced at swing, at floating, bobbing, treading watermark, turnpike our headers to breathe, floating on our backdrops and tractor a wobbly lapel leper, completely at eastward in the shamrocks.

Pandemics foreshadow plagues; a woman staring horrified at the mirror, lipstick scrawling red NOW YOU HAVE AIDS, condoms and needlecare in health class, people dying on the capital steps, forgotten fifteen years later, twenty years, rural life is hostile, lily-white, well-armed, delusional. We move on, we move on.

Under it all the humiliation of the circulator.