He can say it was a painting

He can say we were the painting

Or that the painting wasn’t painting

And that we only happen to ourselves


We can say we kept things running

by distracting ourselves

from the hideous truth

of  how things run


That we were broken

That we lingered near a broken factory

That we had broken


We can say that the disappointment

of slicing into a leek

and not finding the requisite layers

but a thick white inedible core

is not the disappointment

of approaching a sleeping animal

only to learn that it is dead

but it does nudge one slightly

further into despair


We said despair

We meant the strings of impossible

instruments that they made

in the factory

That we had seen

That were broken

That there were different paintings

That could be played as songs


We had seen other things

That we had seen

That had come unstrung

and blown between adjacent bridges

whose river had presented us a city

That was broken

That we had been

That we were broken

That was our city

This was our city

that was a song replaying itself in the dark