by Billy Clem
Imagine a city where nothing’s
forgiven your deed adheres
to you like a scar, a tattoo but almost everything’s
forgotten . . .
—Adrienne Rich, “Rusted Legacy”
When you follow any code, given or stolen,
echoes come through opaque threads discovered
necessary as drone attacks whose trajectories
leave you a euphemism and a mother and her child
wrapped in heavy black preparing mutton and maize,
or absconding to a school, or weaving the bits
and flecks of a life never really their own
suspended in a space not your city or home today
but available as your spare, collectable change.
Billy Clem, a gay and disabled radical feminist, lives outside Chicago where he teaches writing and literature. His work has appeared in Radical Teacher, Counterexample Poetics, and Moon City Review.