I. 5/23/1453

lost in the lofties when the
turks drove in the sally port
the wave of the hand and
the fleet rides planks to the harbor
neighborhoods out in the streets
unknowing of the coming wave
everyone is a slave or dead
no one escapes
monkey mountains of better words
cry boosha FREE at the window
fascines and steel straps
make sand out of your stone
constantine died in a grim sign
pressed — and out! i was not there
all the years are heavy tonight
sunlight in the window at midnight
camp followers crack the codes
seasons fall white at their feet
the sultan raises his arm
mercy granted mercy befisted
swellings and ghosts and words

II. 923 J Street

sweet ventilator shafts
and utility pits stuffed with blankets
elevator basements
green janitorial closets on the
eighth floor
in humming electrical darkness
the small and quiet can fit into
air from 1958
the year of demons
look up at the underground sky
directly into the filament sun
the ancient sewer has an access hatch
time ticks by in the million buried tanks
wednesday the low fluid shakes
in the million afterquakes
923 J Street has six basements
the bottom has a ragged hole
leading into the deep city
precious space now indeed
how deep will be deep enough
to live

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