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Poet of the Week: Gary Allen Jackson

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Goliath

We prop the body up
but it blocks the sky.

If we lay it down, we’d have
to uproot too many trees,

and we cannot leave him
in the sun, in the dark. There is a hole

through his chest – the light
finds a way to bend

through him. We could bury
the body, but who can afford

to buy enough plots,
and how many plots will it take?

Eighty? Two hundred?
Who will dig the graves? Who

will call the men & machines
to chew enough earth?

Enough with the body, please
give him a name.

– Goliath.

But we already have
a Goliath: the one who steps

over buildings, cups men
& women in the prison

of his palms.
Choose another.

– Black Goliath?

Yes. Ok. We
could disassemble Black

Goliath, cut him to pieces,
blow him to atoms.

We could use rope
or chains to drag him

to the river, or wrench
him apart with steel.

Rope would not hold him.
He would leave grooves too deep

to drag. And no one wants
a body raining from the sky.

Then we leave him
to lie in the sun.

There will still be bones.

But bones we can use.
Bones we can unearth

and polish years from now –
build a playground

for children, let them swing freely
from his ivory ribs.

 

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