At 2:44 a.m. I was going to the roof
And in the stairwell it was cold
A little and smelled like burning wood,
Maybe smoking hickory in a fireplace,
Although I honestly don’t know what
Hickory in particular smells like,
Burning or otherwise.
And on my way up the staircase
After the cold and the smoke of hickory
I thought about you and how
I wanted it to get colder
Because I like you.
And when I got to the threshold
Of the door
To the roof
I saw that the smell of fireplace hickory
Was a plume of hot black fog
Which the 9-11 respondent told me
Was a mobile home on fire.
I went to videotape the fire
but there were many many many
Police and firefighters so
I filmed a little and then stopped
Because I felt like the police might
Think I did it and was recording it
Now as reverse psychology like if
I did it I would never come back to
Record it in front of cops so that’s
Why I came back to record it,
They would think.
So I went home and opened
The front door and
Thought to myself
I guess I live in a police state.
I think true love is like a police state
Except you don’t get the right to remain silent
Or even an overworked public defender,
Or free food like in prison,
Except you do get love,
Which is like sharing a bunk
In the prison house of language
I made a plastic bowl of soup
By just pouring hot water on it
And I took it back up to the roof
Because I like the cold and
The smell of fireplace hickory
and plastic soup in a plastic bowl
which is all quite lucky
for a police state.
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Murphy, Justin. 2011. "A police state," https://jmrphy.net/blog/2011/10/08/police-state/ (November 19, 2018).