Battening Song

Ted Matthys

Doing daily shit while waiting
to swing the axe. To sing a lullaby
about doing dishtowels while looking

atrocious. To cinch the lariat
around the vocal apparatus
while doing nothing but proposing

paradise. Its microclimate
and solar array. Doing a mylar
helium balloon then reciting

The Pledge of Allegiance.
Proposing to believe. To routinize
failure into a form of hoping

to take the auspices
seriously. To follow them
out of the idiolect, motioning

toward forgiveness in that place
where doubtless it rains, but weather
is small and lenient. Along the way

to burden the sentence. To be
that burden, merging into traffic
with the precision of a bird.