Good morning steadfastness—
the mono-voice on the screen.
Sky’s smoke riddle, unsolvable.
Amber freeze unbreathing
in the photograph, bucolic in the
video clip. Dark strokes of cloud
approach. A Tornado blushes.
A jam stain bloodies your cuff.
Overnight, they made a pact
with your passport and though
you travelled nowhere, voted
nothing, they’ve signed you up—
airborne, implicit. In Tartous,
snooping through the derelict museum,
you signed the guestbook: War
on the Axis of Evil (2009).
A boy in a frayed Arsenal shirt
tugged at your sleeve saying Mister,
Mister, what are you doing here?
Nobody comes here.
Illustration Nick Victor
James’ new collection, Everything Broken Up Dances, is published in the United States by Tupelo:
White Coins, James Byrne’s poetry collection from Arc is available. Arc Publications – Books