A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature
This junk I’ve carried forty years
On good days pees a single stream,
But mostly just sticks to my thighs
White as unseen fishes’ bellies.
It’s all here for little more than
Cough. Again. Right. Get dressed.
Who knew sacred fruit, inheritance,
Could go squishy, rot so fast?
Seems it all simply fell one day,
Littering my world as a series
Of one-offs, longed for, ephemeral,
Tired as any autumnal awakening.
But if I could have felt cramps
And life’s need stuck on thighs
Hardy as tree trunks, later columns
Framing the grandest temple,
And a crowning, heal-pricked cries,
And the vernix we all want to palm
After the hardest work known
To any mammal living a summer.
And the cradling of a moon,
A song that blooms and orbits.
The pleasure of a whole world
Spinning, spinning away by itself.
Copyright 2017 Billy Clem
Billy Clem teaches Composition, Multiculturalism and Women’s and Gender Studies outside Chicago.