The Anabasis of Godspeed

                     1  Above deck, ice-scarred, off to Albion. ___ Let it be named so, for the dynastic  furies combed into heads, pressed into lines of boys shouting ‘here, sir,’ and ‘not here, sir’  at devotion or on the parade ground,  leaping over shadows as the sea broke  with their names interred in the same roster, fidgeting with oceanic sorrow.   Happy Grove. They climbed the sea-charged cannons.  They looked up the school’s purple and gray walls.  They chattered like parakeets in the breeze.  Then their scurrilous voices crossed strict waves, bound by an ardor to move while standing  hidden in the open, an infantry  stalled in the holy metal of the sun.    Flecked dust and heat. Melting vellum. Lament.                       ___ A boy struggled with the flag, crack-lashing  from his hands like a fer-de-lance. Scorched, turned and watched                      charcoal burners; shipwrights; tailors; clerks; fishermen; motor engineers; blacksmiths; cooks; mechanics    as it whisked away in the grass.  Laughter broke across ranks. The chased earned him his name: Godspeed. Godspeed! A khaki blitz chorused their mute, fettered pain, the future’s fata morgana raging    sargasso eyes bulge as if a mirror lapses  time: Jesus of Lübeck? Braunfisch? No: iron twins Karlsruhe and Dresden, incandescent drift amid reefs at sunset rumoured to be wedding-torches   to puncture       these poppies blackened with the unknown names stung to their chests each morning like courtiers of empire, primed to rake the play field  small wars erupted noon: “A Ras! a Ras!”  aimed at the Zion-haired boy, who mirrored  the sound, that broken water place gurgled  from poppies: the dread Arras.    Through bells  he heard this, mouths gashed with ringing, fell in  ordered rows, tilted like ships in the glare.    So many,    sugar; rum; cocoa; coffee; rice; logwood; bauxite; oranges, lime

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