Epitaph Sketch

Mike Amado


Suburban epitaphs methodically scrawled on

        Tattooed tongue of Earth Mother.

The language of landscape enslaves

The knuckle-dragging contractor,

Fondling mounds of expensive dirt;

        Land pierced by convoluted billboards,

                Irreverent epithets . . .

Think different, drive fast,

        Drink this, die soon.

Sprawling sprawls cater creep,

Can you hear the mildew crawl up

        The basement stairs? -

The friendly vibe of the burbs.

All the neighborhood trees are

        Dressed like Ginkgos.

Bird songs by Nokia, patios by IKEA;

Pug dog on yellow leash humps hydrant,

        Thinks of Paris as

Plastic handed owner scoops organics

        From neighbor's manicured lawn . . .

An hour before the morning commute,

The slow crawl to the city heaving exhaust;

        Flocks of garbage, sky breathes ash,-

Lawyer on street corner lights fat cigar

                With gold lighter, bag man on sidewalk

        Eats peanut shells -

The unfriendly hell of the city.

Hard to live, too high to pay.

Re-zoned buildings are boxes

Of yellow Tyvex.

Tenements gone condo, commercial

Because human sheep need too, to graze.

        Enslaved, die soon.