The Garden of Tolerance and Truth
Jai Britton

The street is monopolized by spray cans
wrapped in brown paper bags
and liquid paper and among the needles
like ephemeral papyrus was the type
to write down dreams
of the perpetually high.

I hold their collective brain stems
like a bouquet and smell disappointment
as heady musk and body odor. How
alive they are! Like angels

with bedroom eyes, shuffling, twitching,
shaking out of their skin to expose
feathered wings folded against the jagged

brink, like a fiddlehead
yet unfurled.