William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Verses

1                          at the center of which is Man,
said the woman unto him, laughing, her symphony a breath of hands.

2   There were walls in those days:

3   The cotton patch on one side, impossible to mend; her father at the window,
plotting murder; her mother knitting sandwiches:

4   Bolls, half open, scratchy to retrieve; the failed blood of Adam,
crying out to Eve; street signs, curbs, and gutters; the restless night brigade:

5   All the milk in heaven
in one swollen pale breast; the whispering of leaves:

6   The preacher in his trundle bed; the plumber with his bottle;
the widow’s magazine:

7   Presbyterians; Methodists; Lutherans; Catholics; Baptists;
the Four Square; the two-square; dodge-ball; hopscotch; tops; jacks;
monkey bars; jump-ropes; braids; and of course the scaffold,

8   For not all spirits break.

9   She sighed:

10   The birth of fiction; as if yes were a word and the owl
had known; as if need were the beginning and not before;
as if he were wheat in the field of her palm,

11   Trembling:

12   Gently, she eased his body down:

13   She sang it down, praised it down,

14   Cloth to the loin and thorns above,

15   As if many were chosen and one were called:

16   And he cried unto her,

17                          I cherish the death that I have been given,

18   And explained in a breath how it had been prophesied by trees;
how he had carried a lamb through winding streets; how men had looked up
from their work and derided him; and how they had returned
to their dwellings and hung themselves,

19   Fattened,

20   On the spit of their own lives.

 

Recently Banned Literature, December 16, 2011

Categories: Recently Banned Literature

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