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Saturday, February 28, 2009


by Tony Brown

We claimed
we didn't know anything
about how this would be
right up to the day

the dragon,
the one we'd been watching stir for ages,

the one whose back had been humping up
the earth like a monstrous gopher as long as we could recall,
the one whose scales had been landing on us
like scalding flowers for eons,
the one whose breath had tanned us so raw
that warm drizzle felt like an alcohol bath,
the one with eyes like star sapphires
that dazzled us into inaction,

until the day the dragon rose into
full and awesome view
and demanded our firstborn, our secondborn;
demanded that he be slaked and satisfied
with all our legacies; demanded nothing explicit
because his sheer sudden command of the common sky
told us all we needed to know then and evermore;

and then we ran about like cinders
jerking crazily in the general cloud of destruction,

sparks that vanished even as we flew,
lost in the heat of a moment
we'd known was coming for years
and yet
had denied as easily as any other god
we'd ever taken on casual terms...

of course,
since we had made this one ourselves,
we still believed we could remake it
right up to the second
that we fell, consumed,
back to the black ground
as fodder for whatever folly
followed us.

Tony Brown is a poet living in Worcester, MA. His work has appeared in The Riverwalk Journal, The November 3rd Club, and many other publications and Anthologies. A chapbook, Flood: New Poems, will be published soon by Pudding House Publications.