Picture the vines creeping from his collar.
The stem snaking.
The petal pink and thick as a human ear unfurling from the place his cheek should be.
Pollen-pouched bees yellowing as they gather
what he was always bound to become.
What comes next.
This is our revenge.
Those of us he mounts to build the crystal barricade,
its pearled locks and curtains
thin as whispers and thick
as what stands between dimensions.
He designed it all to let in the curated glow
and keep out everything that makes the light.
We who make the light.
Who pray without words
or who find the words no longer fit the shapes of our mouths.
Even if the first language we learned,
still not our native tongue.
Because down here underneath his impermanent empire
our voices catch what hisses at the core,
gnash and roil, vibration, churn,
The chewing away, the rebirth,
our blind and mighty hunger
so much more relentless than even
his epic hoarding
of one inch then the next.
Into us he drives his crampons.
Scales and scars us in his ascent.
We are the earth he clears.
As if soil can ever be scoured.
As if it does not live always, come back
As if clean slate, blank tract, and bill of sale
exist simply because the words do.
As if he actually owns it because the deed he holds
says so. For the moment
He calls it law.
Names the object and delineates its border.
Places its shape on the lips of his gang of brothers
and their hired muscle.
Codifies the fiction in texts as dense as mason stones
laid so tight they erase all visible seams.
Those of us he mounts, we down here under
his cultivated acres, his locked gate,
we grow on.
Like weeds. The thickening root.
The beetle in gleaming oil-hued armor pushing
sideways as long as we must.
Then up. Eventually always up.
Through the illusion he’s thrown all his might at maintaining.
Through even the fiber optics knotted at our throats.
He will feed on the ones we love.
The ones who made us and the ones we make.
The ones whose thrum is as constant as a buried spring, even though he tries in vain to drain us.
laced and woven, a warren of flow so far down
he can’t build anything deep enough
though lord knows
We will erase him
eventually. As if he never was.
Soon we will unname what yokes us, topple from below
the tyranny of his taxonomy.
We belong to what lives on
after all the words are gone.
The true songs, after all,
are the ones without lyrics.
The ones that match the pulse of splitting cells,
birth quakes, tidal crash and decay.
The noise his ears never tuned into,
the signal that stayed with us since the moment
we first heard it,
a tinnitus of life’s relentless howl.
This is our revenge.
We down here, vulgar dead who know in our splintered bones the secret
of eternal life,
Soon we will scratch a furrow through the gleam.
Free the eager bramble.
His body will be the one torn through.
Along the seams at first.
The suit jacket, the stitched pocket.
And scalp too, yes. Right through
that clean white dome.
Whatever power he amassed will leak out.
Thorns tear free the fingerprint, pluck loose each strand
of DNA and set it on the wind like milkweed fluff.
Soon he will return to us
because we will return him to us,
as we do all things
and every memory of everything.
Pause in this moment
and picture our vines
creeping from his collar.
Take a breath
as if we’ve already claimed victory.
As if this ending is already told.
Because it is.
The earth does win
in the end.