March 2005 / Volume VI / Issue II
Matt Smith
Baudelarian Dandyism

I know nothing of politics only that
A central American leftist named Flaco
Screams inside my chest
And I don't understand his language.

When he's terribly upset about something
On the news or overheard in conversation
He shakes me, plucks at the strings
Fills his burlap sack with bits of me

Pours me into slender glass bottles
Sets the rag aflame and sends me
Head-over-heels into the fascist line
He cries out as they scatter, burning.

Now, as you sip red wine over dinner
I listen to the voices around me and
My hand reaches out for the bottle
Stops short, hovers over the candles flame

You don't notice the pain in my arm
While we dine and chat about elections
I tell you again that I know nothing of politics
Still, you continue; and Flaco grows impatient.