The river’s applause fades round the ridge
like a candled freedom snuffed by a junta:

wounded echo. Crumbly shale of ocean
plates makes for din of dinner party brawl

while descending in a broken country
scramble from the mountain’s shrugging

shoulders. In the kicking crush of footprints,
a micro avalanche of each soul’s presence.

Man’s a gnawing animal lugging
the ancient crowbar of his want. Woman

too, jimmying, prying her womb open
to deliver a harsh sachet of goods

and bads. Power vacuums all the tiny
valuables into its silk purse of prophets.

When broken countries scramble fast for change
amid the sabotage of mob and fear,

howler monkeys hoot their recognition,
claiming royalty rights to conflict. Ice

slips the sun’s gaze each morning while shadow
stays awake. In cracks, a deep kind of wet

leverage, a boiling down through cold, making
mush of that once hard—tough cereal

of boulders sugared with snow—breaking down
rock into gravity’s meal, rolling down

to surging rivers. Such broken country
scrambles all signals: order’s slipping

into a crevasse, progress went thataway,
while the status quo holds tight to sound

bites of dictators and dissolving stones.