Smiles

Angry dogs break their chains
and kill each other because
they think its what we want.
The long knife stabbed into
the side of her mattress is
a last line of defense for if
the social contract fails her,
and the world decides it’s fine
to take her place away.

The water collects everything
and moves it all together so we
see the faces of our captors
in the branding on the garbage
in the street. Every treat is a billboard
for the next one and the more immobile
they’ve made you the longer you
have to look at all the signs.

Padlocks hang from every inner
door because they must be sure
there isn’t somewhere you can hide
when they aren’t looking.
The steps before the church door
are intentionally steep
the old can barely climb them
because their ceremony
out bids their weekly tithes.

They sew the seam along
the splitting sides before
the fabric is loaded on
the spaceship where
the lights are so confusing
you can’t tell that it’s a
plane with better engines.
They take a walk inside
your mind taking note
of what they find
then put you back
where everyone
is smiling.

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