“Red Light Island” by Amal Lucerne

Postpartum women crawl
beneath shattered wire-trapped eyelids
as blithe crickets dine metaphysically
on wide teeth gaps: limb voids: a beggar’s touch
stained with charcoal infants sipping milk
from the abused carcass of a street light lantern
fumbling listless words
to drown a thousand plastic lashes

a few wayward men mumble steamships
that have trailed and trailed and trailed and left
only Croatian childhood murder in the dim city’s wake
a skinny mother’s embrace went adrift
in seas of sycophantic conscience ridden movie nights
bucolic game nights lisping stone nights
nights beaten by belts too strong for lips but hard enough
for the cheek bone’s dress
to turn from lurid flesh
to escapist closet airfares on sunday

her infants awake to salvage the restless scents

the residual infrahumanity

the bygone populace of red light island

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