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Destiny Oshay Birdsong

Years: 2009




Destiny Birdsong is a graduate of Fisk University,  where she received her B.A. in History and English.  She is also a graduate of Vanderbilt University,where she received her MFA in Creative Writing (Poetry), and where she is currently working towards a PhD in literature.  Her current manuscript is tentatively titled Sugar: Poems. 


On Forgiveness



It’s a simpler matter when you’ve known

The feeling of bringing nations of men to their knees. 


When you’ve emptied entire nurseries of firstborns; 

Fed years to the locusts, then locusts to the lips of John—


Carcasses of the surplus scuttling across desert

Sand like chambermaids in David’s castle. 


I too could cast a man’s deeds into the Sea

Of Sin No More; drop stones like roses at his feet. 


Power makes one gracious. Power makes one

Easy. Even Lionel could rise from his bed


Of charms unharmed; Al would never learn

To loathe the smell of grits like burning flesh.


Yes, I’d lay down the knife and wipe my eyes

As if I were slicing onions for a meal;


Dance daintily across a kitchen floor

To the tune of “Let’s Stay Together.”  No,


I would not begrudge my lover’s trip to Damascus

If I could blind him on his way there.