It begins when you first see your masters
hanging from the bloodied hook. All witchcraft
leads from there, sends men pawing stale streams
through the gravel and stones. Dumb pale fish twitch
gape-mouthed, flail at their grasp, reverse
into the current. Black clouds, inscrutable,
shadow the cities. A sharp knife severs
the foe’s tendon, snaps his bloody heel, lubricates
the footprints. When you find the fleeing kneeled
in the wheat, garrote them like gentlemen.
Years ago, before the first souls keened
over, we could welcome the elements.
We sat on patios, passed cans of beer, longed
For a future golden, golden, golden.
Aaron Brame is the former senior poetry editor at the Pinch Journal. His poetry and prose appear in Lumina, Hartskill Review, Kindred, and Tupelo Quarterly, among other places. He teaches eighth-grade English in Memphis, Tennessee.