Hans und Greeting
by John Moore Williams
now Hans’ eyes glitter, now rheum, now vitriol, now glissando; Greta now
greeting mops them all up. the waxed lacquer glistens, full of his eyes
and their rhymes; is a meniscus of shed things, things best not named
their names are exoskeletal, are bone husks and rebar bent cunning all
over what is in the end an indiscriminate pulsing.
now Brittney slips slickly from the town car, flashing her immaculate
gorge. the day so humid it drips and the crowds aswarm around her are
silhouettes with LED stareyes. everybody drops to their knees, hands
upraised clasping at the cloying sweetness she proffers. glossed and not
at all sticky, even in this heat. she Speed Stick, she pH-balanced.
even now she is ascending to a kewpie doll heaven.
no matter how we claim now smoking is the way. the past still reaches out
its tarry hands and throttles us; from the inside out; this is the
virulence, the contagion. we fear. we H1N1. April comes in like a virus;
October finds us compost heaps.
now Hans and Greta settle down for the 5 o’clock news. in the flickering
wash of indigo Greta dreams of teeth, or a mouth that beats upon itself
until its teeth are porcelain shards.
Hans dreams of breath, and or the rinds of bread blooming bluewhite in the
moist and needled dark.
in the corner of the living room
a woman rocks upon a creaking chair, counting the snowfall of her hair,
sucking a shaft of crystal candy; pink ridges of her gums rupture,
quietly, as the anchorman mutters, soft, urbane, of the two that fell from
an ultralight plane in the bluegreen pines of the Oakland hills tonight.
her dreaded hair walks like spiders up the wall. now Greta and Hans smile
down the 5 o’clock new
it is only flesh furl; slow pearl-dewed and lunar flesh wound;
man—i—cured; it’s only LED eyes that make it; only the un-stained, the
immaculate cloth …
it ratchets open; it ratchets open its cunning mouthparts, its delicate
gloved bone; it armatures of cartilage and nerve, pieta-arms webbed with
revealing what white
what Zoom® whitened smiles
they trickle godsweat, through latex fingers, through glass retorts,
through slender vessels where a curled rodent grows—a single,
cartilaginous wing, wrinkled as bat nose and just as tenderly wriggling,
unbreaking wave of flesh poised to scoop up ripples that ride the
breath—in the godsweat steep, the afterbirth of dreams—two tender fibers
intertwine and write, are cellseethe and benign, parthenogenesis of
timeless sleep—in the night the bioluminescent dogs do wimperwrithe,
cavernous nostrils dilate wide, catching iron tang of flesh upon the
wind—out of the corners of your eyes—their skulls, the chambered nautili,
secrete another calcine, windsilk rind—Hans lies wakeless, a shuttling
between impossibilities; in her dreams Greta has chainsawed the last, the
last log, and scrapes a flare of sulfur—as every inch of her goes
we were doing it; at last we were doing it, were doing it for something
sacred; for something sacred and so the woundflesh ground, one against the
next; the coarse flesh sobbed and sawed against and all our loose ends
our tickling black threads were drawn out and out again; hung limpid and
waiting for dawn again
waiting for us to fall back to ourselves again, in damp sweat and hollowed