[The moon ringed by a clarion…]

Hari Alluri

The moon ringed by a clarion halo falls on we. And I can only
think of gravity and blood. There are oceans, too, of course, the distance
covered by their tides. Which is to say, gravity, blood.

We are laughing upways on the street again, which is why we see the moon.

My crew, swervy, joke how we will outgrow this inner-city suburb
and have to rebuild it to suit our new selves. We plan to move the river
to an elevated bridge, shoulder the street we drink down into a six-floor club,
wanting to give each of their neon signs the length of our most difficult names.

When a thunderhead blotted its circled light, that ring thickened to a shoreline. A halo’s
purity can neither touch nor disentangle. You should slay night.
I should slay jungle. Foreign, we should slay, we said.

Barging in, an old man’s voice: “You want to be fed again? You’re a pain
in the boondocks, stupid dog”—he had a fight-pit in his speech, for roosters.

I loved it like an archipelago song I’d never heard—the song of the deity
he left behind, fine as piña thread. The deity of what we leave behind.

                                    —for Aimé Césaire

[We saw there…]

We saw there how soldiers and non-soldiers got marched, or worse, to death, he said. Saw it
from inside, our overtaken ones. And dogs, he said, with their facing-forward snouts, got fetched
into cleaning the roadside air. They were as well-behaved as knots impossible to comb
from songs. And then, needing to be swept—but only rarely—the path from lonely to alone.

Hari Alluri is a co-founding editor of Locked Horn Press, a community facilitator, and a poet. The following journals, venue, and anthology include his most recent work:
B O D Y, Chautauqua, Poetry International, Split This Rock, and Dismantle (Thread Makes Blanket). His forthcoming chapbook is The Promise of Rust (Mouthfeel).