John Tustin


The invading army came
and they broke into my mind
and carried off all of my books.

They took them out to an empty
field and they burned them.
One by one piling them on the fire.

Then they went to the homes
of my loved one and neighbors,
blurring out their faces with blur-guns.

Still, they were not done.

They came back to my mind
and rooted and rustled in my corners
and the hidden compartments of my bureaus.

They found my notebooks –
the ones where I put down all my words
and they took them out and burned them, too.

Now I struggle to remember the words
but they just look like abstract paintings to me
and I can’t bring them to cohesion.

The invading army came
and now I look out from foggy eyes
and scream without opening my mouth.

I’m in here somewhere but I don’t know where.