Well, if you must know…

To the tune of six hundred American dollars,
they spun and turned their collars up, the parlor junkies.
They wore on their feet shoes so clunky
that one almost felt sorry.
How, after all, can such tragedies
be allowed in this, the best of all possible worlds?

Wind came a-churnin’ like a churlish beggar
in baggy pants. The dance continued,
as did the sale of liquor on Sundays,
much to the chagrin of the churchgoing crowd.
They squalled so loudly that they garbled
the content of their message.
They may as well have been pulling steel wool
from their mouths.

A crowd was gathered in the ballroom,
all of them brandishing hot irons
and cynical cartoons. Some called it a boon.
Others took to their hot air balloons
and were never seen or heard from again.
I was already wending my way through
the labyrinthine halls of that piping hot palace,
seeking the solace of someone or other’s bedchambers.

Clamor covered and smothered the event.
‘Twas a fine time to repent,
though nobody could quite remember
the protocol for that. All was overkill,
spilled guilt and hot flashes.
Splashes of a wounded sunset
crept through the window.
Of these, none took notice.

-r. miller

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