Twentieth of the second
The twentieth day has come at last,
to remind many of what it meant
for those last four scores and
a little more.
Focused on lives not his, he walked,
bowed in humility, eternal to the skies,
fearless of the elements, and of
the ticking clock.
It is the second month, freezing anew,
one stranger to you, for the first time,
this side of a millennium you built,
with your hands.
The year soon to be forgotten of all,
first in a long line of foreign decades,
as you rest at last in contemplation of
a legacy, yours.
Colossus, you returned the keys to your lord,
leaving a world peaceful, in the hot seventh,
shaded under memories you left behind, for
Fabrice Poussin teaches French and English at Shorter University. Author of novels and poetry, his work has appeared in Kestrel, Symposium, The Chimes, and many other magazines. His photography has been published in The Front Porch Review, the San Pedro River Review as well as other publications.
Politricks as Usual
He steals truth from the hearts of people who
blindly follow him.
Their lives ruined by the motive of divide and
Mobilize the mass by telling them what
they want to hear. The evangelist and
politician know this.
They are cut from the same cloth. A pulpit
is a podium.
A king’s crown has blood on it. Never aspire
to this. Instead, move from what you are told.
Elvis Alves is the author of Bitter Melon (2013), Ota Benga (2017), and I Am No Battlefield But A Forest Of Trees Growing (2018), winner of the Jacopone da Todi poetry book prize. Elvis lives in New York City with his family.
(There are golf courses. Big
mown lawns reserved for some
men to breathe freely. Miles-long.
Certain men, having paid
diligently their dues—to roam
unfettered by the flotsam of
lesser beings. Fresh air to
spare. There are flowers too, some-
where still, beneath deserts & dunes.
Beneath the gentle, sun-warmed sands
singing quietly like bloodsong.
There is a mighty thirst inside a cactus
that dreams itself abloom, as many as there
are stars ripped from the heavens like
pacifiers torn from tiny mouths. As there
are blankets & diapers, & doves in the trees,
trembling beyond history’s quickening wingbeat.
Just as there are golf courses of imagination:
Big manicured, immaculately mown to spare us
these minor indignities. To allow us just enough
room to unimagine; to pretend there are no
children anywhere in cages. There are no children,
anywhere, in cages . . . these minor indignities.)
Matthew Burnside is the author of Postludes (KERNPUNKT) and Rules to Win the Game (Spuyten Duyvil Press).