Soon, the canvas will siphon the city landscape
and pigment itself. On Sundays, I lip fossil fuels
for breakfast and toss its cartons in the toilet—
unflushed. I sell my tongue to acid rain,

part wicked spells from civil obedience to steal swatches
of color. Yesterday I craved umbrella yellows but today
I scavenge for charcoal. Reap traffic congestion. Picket
slum dwellers as a billboard capitalist. Only then do I

remember there’s more violence in art than I once
believed; reading between minute lines, I strip open
a vulture potluck and pick a zebra’s bones from
its flesh. Stripes unzip like human intestines. I asked

for homage in this city, to blend fat into linen without
brandishing my own. Yet brush strokes smear pizza
grease on my gossamer sketches and street vendors
overpopulate spiral bindings. Crouched beneath tin

rooftops, I crush dandelions in my fists. The pappi teeter
on black puddles. Here, there is never enough to feed
hunger-gaped mouths, but when Ma says eat, I drink
sewage. I gloss over glass display stares and collect

barreled weapons to humor myself. My dexterity
prints foresight, palette grousing—and I do not
think of crimes.