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

 

Wo 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