Construction Literary Magazine

January 2017 Writers Respond

Oligarchy

Oligarchy
Photograph via Flickr by Jason Samson

Crackle! Snap! the kitchen radio
rattles breakfast again. A fresh uprising,
the crowd against the comfortable.
                                                Our kind,
those comfortable, those full-fat-latte-dahs.
Like them, we’d been ignoring small incursions
by refugees fleeing the Stasi-sneer
of a mean winter.
                                Half-lit, corner-of-eye
sightings: the vole in hiding under the stove,
the migrant mouse who blended into the molding.
We turned uneasily back to our buttered toast.

Only when squirrels staged an occupation
via the stove’s fan-vent, thumping the ductwork
in nightly guerilla actions—only then
did we take measures.
                                Yes, they only wanted
crumbs from the rich man’s table. We were consumed
by things amiss in the deep structures of living.

The D-Con box, in dry and pelleted phrasing,
let us know when to start to look for bodies,

not breathing that behind the lath and plaster
the disappeared lay dark, and the drip of springtime
would scent rooms with the attar of their rot.