The Swings the Swings

Jessica Laser

The swings flee the intact faculties
Still the trees with them, loose
Looking like little lonesomes
Trying to enjoy the great festival of life with other men.
I stood where the standers lie
In Assyria
Like a collapsed house
Walking around from inside.
I had touched a man’s arm and it hurt me.
There was a watch on it, an official of the state.
Where were we when you arrived on the scene?
What time did you arrive?
No I don’t want to testify—I don’t believe
Your honor I don’t believe
The state proves this case against me.
I moved
To dismiss the case.
I saw a man’s arm and it hurt me.
He had a watch on it.
You see how full of changes change is?
Was. Shouldn’t they block it, send
Back all the things you
Slow so we die?
We will so we slow
The official’s evidence.
Where I stood I dreamt
I was a pirate sea
With all beings and boats
In me legally arrested.
The night of the soul
They say, is of a level
Of horror unbearable to every man but
The mystic. When I saw the man, I
Lived unbearably. I had no vision
Of myself as a mystic,
No audience with God.
I read a mystic 
Feels what I felt
So I touched, beneath the covers
People, having learned from me empathy
Enough to turn them down. “Throw him in prison!—
What prison?—Where he is already, for he is there.”