Greg Sendi

MISSA CORONA SPINEA Good Friday, Macomb County
January 22, 2021 Sendi Greg

Good Friday, Macomb County


On one side of one dumpster
behind the Dollar Tree
at Romeo Plank and Hall a cluster
of stencils made by three
grackles caught in the backward mud
and gravel spray of tires—
(improbably blocking the blood-
brown gush—three made new fliers
in their fall, broken on the ground,
wings skewed and twitching,
flopping piteously, as all around
the floating and bewitching
rubber smoke—like the poof
of a tada—tends slowly toward dilation
through the quiet—careless proof
of their unlikely transfiguration
manifest, above the muddle
of their dying slowly together
in a not quite puddle,
now three doves, every edgefeather
in outline on the greasy blue steel
in obverse, now three Christmascard birds
in whose miscarried liftoff is revealed
an exultant straining upwards,
well, the shadow of one)



appears next to the trashbox indicia—
five red Republic Rs that surround
their own emptiness, a rendition
of the star-shaped wound
of some minor cubist pietà, multi-
agonal spines each the etcher
of some fresh laceration, guilty
of a pitiless gashing—specters
within whose negative screenout
spaces are found at once the mercy
it would have been to stomp them out,
one by one—simple surcease
of misery—a decency forestalled
(despised things, unmissed if unseen,
merely nuisance birds, after all)
to keep the Silverado’s floormats clean,
next a retribution for the stain
spreading with grim advance
from the blightsacs of the suzerain
into his dominions, whose miscreance
is highfived in grievancewear,
(the deercamp camo, the Oakleys
above brocap brims) among the lacquered,
vivid faces signaling each to each,
and a wish confessed



that if one day from some palliation-
only negative pressure unit I spit
my last at you, a jubilation
will be screened in silhouette
into the spatter behind you, filling
droplets saturate to bursting
with contagion, half a trillion
particles per teaspoon, each shard certain
to scourge for what you have wrought
upon the republic, a kenosis inverse
to the spilling forth you brought
into our homes and with a curse
in spasms, split open a shitgorged
alabastron on generations, to repay
inaugural ghosts of blood discharged,
since which emptying out, every day
has been a plague day,
a drowning in our own lungs—
as excruciation too, they say,
for all the bloodplay and drums,
is suffocation in the end,
or as the water hyacinth smothers
its home to death, or as descend
the lotus eaters, agape in wonder,
enchanted unto stone,



and just stop breathing, bereft of
grudge, by the shepherd’s eye
dismayed, as if excess of love
bewilders them until they die—
or, the airflow being what it is,
may it, for all that, become
a mercy to you, spiraling up, fractal eddies
coaxed by the throaty ovine pump-hum,
each breath thereby thronging into vents,
through unfathomable conduits,
dark, malignant flumes and thence
to incineration chambers in which
together our misdeeds, gassed
and ignited, spray the vault empyrean,
ejecting jets toward its vast
upward absence, until within
the cottages of Utica and Shelby
return the usual blinkings of our kind,
the customary unknowing of wellbeing,
as once imploring the punishing wind
of steppes and escarpments, now plashes
on the Gorilla Glass of Samsungs, dread
testament to how these disinfected ashes
witness we who dreamed are dead
and grant us rest.

Greg Sendi lives in and writes from the Rogers Park neighborhood of Chicago where, according to a recent headline, “only the weird survive.” Recently his poetry, fiction and essays have appeared in a wide range of literary publications. His 2020 short story “Two Not Touch” was shortlisted for the 2021 Driftwood Press Adrift short story competition. His 2022 poems “A Compass for Ariadne” and “Bottom” were selected as finalists for the 2023 Tennessee Williams & New Orleans Literary Festival Poetry Contest.