After T. S. Eliot’s Prelude IV

Worn boot soles
shuffle exhaust, sidewalk
evening, idling cars;
a store-front news screen
flickers mid-east war, and prices at the pump
the hockey score;

A run-on day, one more
smoke and
one more beer
before the drunken sway
to supper
on a TV tray.

the gentle palm nailed and

suffer the little—
and all things
bright and beautiful—

            Wipe your hand across your mouth and laugh

Toy guns fire at City Hall
the world revolves like
child soldiers
cutting throats
inside a mall.