The Shadow of Wit

The jokes that start with an artifact that
knows god and trusts god to keep it pure

Sometimes bad but never wrong

Who slit the throats of pick pockets
and slay lions into crumpled carcasses
with the help of / what confirms
it's own existence 

The jokes we tell are slicing onions so small
they don't even exist anymore -- ghosts
separate from conventional communication

What is this speaking seriously? 

The night train is full of things so terrifying
we can only relate our contempt
to others by pretending to be part of it 

The best jokes are so good we cannot laugh
at them -- instead we nod wisely --
genuinely dumb struck -- sending depth
and trying not to drowned

Veils for every unimaginable
loss -- every debilitating disease and
betrayal of the human imagination

We are intimate with the word
We would be fools to stuff it full of sighs
so we fill it with our laughter

All the rooms are filled with spooks
and everyone has a chair and a glass 

Racing together, in urgent joy, against mortality
taunting it between gasps as somrthing
conceivable and containable and snarky
toward the horizon of the graves