The state closed the nudist parks & seaside piers, & through actions
initiated years earlier by the Worker’s Party,
it was declared that all people must provide
justification for their usefulness as related to recreation & production,
bonding posture & pleasure
outside obligations to work.
Clad citizens felt the chill of winter every day the country deepened into depression,
& the annals record tragedies with certainties that would astound you.
Bodies grew repulsive, emaciated
from camps & rations. There is a fragrance to mass suffering that neither words
nor pictures can render—
a cruel frankincense, sadistic smuff.
What naturalists worried would come to pass indeed hungered into law:
death devolved from erotic folk art to industrialized pornography; citizens couldn’t look away or gaze innocently—
a disembodied incredulity, all born again mechanized.
Dave Harrity’s writing has appeared in Verse Daily, Forklift, Ohio, Copper Nickel, Palimpsest, Memorious, The Los Angeles Review, Softblow and elsewhere. His most recent book is Our Father in the Year of the Wolf (Word Farm, 2016). He is a recipient of an Emerging Artist Award and an Al Smith Fellowship from the Kentucky Arts Council.