Poem of the Week: They Speak of the Body and One Sits Up Straight by Justin Phillip Reed

the public doesn’t know what to think             of you, spook faggot. it
doesn’t think of you             that way. you lie ass-up           on the slab
of its mind, the image a mote           passing tacitly out of light, less than
dead weight, though                  you are surely dying                  as if
dying is your duty           to country.           spook.           you queen out
on main streets           of ghost towns, sword-dancing           prototype
propelled         toward doom: black          puddle bordered in the sketch of
ancient deaths — floatless,           diminutive,           exoskeletal residua —
still life of body with         circumference of bodies —; puddle         reflecting
nothing of use           to a milk-dipped narcissus.           skull of faggot
in the alley, blown         purple on the bricks,         is a kiss, is a         ks
lesion.           gun hot on the lips           like lips. fucked           as gender.
fucking to live. fucking                 appalling. the public                 pales
and pales you           like meat in the wolf maw, snatches the tongue
out           from under and dresses its windows in your shade. spook,
what is your color      scheme? faggot:      floral printed in fist        blood
bloom.       spook: bullet riddled, sifting       air       overhead for clues.
what’s black           and red           and red           all over?     the public
drops         its hand         from the ear where it had         what it thought
was           the decency to whisper.

**via the Offing**

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