Rules We Never Wanted

Fires burn dubiously on Mulberry Street,

unsure of what caused them to ignite,

as wealthy patrons goad the flames on.


The fallen leaves from last autumn

are sacrificed as paper-like fuel,

as I write my novel upside down.


Wooden cracks,

smothered in glue,

stir up a prescription of meddling,

as the daughter my mother never had

calls herself Nancy

—do you know where the

golden hour hides?


She transcribes,


as the owls leave their roosts,

fanning all that smolders in the town’s center.


My brothers sing independent soliloquies,

yet still I can find no fresh skin,

only fur,

ripped from the narratives Nana always told me.


It’s almost as if Mary gives birth to Jesus again,

while molten letters of the past curse the old factories,

and they crumble

—all around.

Alexander Rigby