Sarin Gas Dreams

by Euan Wallace

I toss and turn in tumult

Like a Tomahawk missile

Changing course mid-flight

To strike at nothing

A floating hot death-mask

Shifting amidst hurried aphasia

Racing between sarin gas dreams


I cannot sleep when it skulks in the shadows

The forgotten corners of my motel prison


It.


It is hulking, hideous, with hunched back

It is nine hundred billion dollar-feet tall

It has pitted, sunken eyes

It has long and narrow snaggleteeth

Its skin is tattooed with the headlines of yellow journalists


Every morning it dons a shiny black Armani suit

And has a cup of diesel with a dash of blood

And two spoons of gunpowder

Then it fields questions from the press


Its pitted sunken eyes gaze hungrily at the lunch menu:

A braised Beijing in demi-glace

Fried Guangzhou, seared Shenzhen

Plated on a bed of scorched earth


It twists and rips off Vladivostok like shrimp tail

Dousing it in the cocktail sauce of Duterte’s victims

Gnashing its snaggleteeth, talking while eating

Of plans to bivouac across the Trans-Siberian railway

To torch the River Neva, then whip around and gobble Moscow


It wipes and greases and fondles the old boots of Sonderkommandos

Hoping they will one day fit

It chews the dark chocolate of Poroshenko

The SS insignia burned into its cerebellum


It showers off the blood in gold

Rearing back its head like a Pez container

Shovelling in coin and ingots

Sunken eyes now dazzling and blinking slots


My box spring mattress groans and curls

As it sits on the edge of my bed with horrid grin

Each hoary whisper wet with war-fever pathogens

Poised, waiting for its terrific leap


I must wake. I must wake!


I am paralyzed by its aphasia and sarin gas dreams

Night terror lies, VX Nerve sweats

Hulking hideously on my bed

Hungrily it reaches to place on my death-mask—


I must wake!