The Trial
by John B. Mulligan

    the torn earth__the man with the ax
    the trees malnourished crones
    in impotent covens__the mountains
    brooding__on all fours

    and through it all__brightshiny cars
    skittering and scooting__insects

    the cracked__metal-colored slabs
    leaning over_the smooth asphalt
    the dark bonetrees_leaning over
    the chain gangs_of telephone poles
    and electrical towers_the street lamps
    leaning over_peering down

    and through it all_brightshiny houses
    in formation__at parade rest

    the conquered world_the imprisoned grasses
    the darkbird circling_hovering
    the nest in the tree_the brittle eggs

    and through it all_the drab troops
    dazed__pricing the carnage

    the sky_the patient judge
    condemning sinners_to their sins
    a lethal injection_of oil and plastic
    the brightshiny fruit_of the poison tree

    and through it all_the mountains
    hungering_on all fours

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