Blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsSpring 2016  Vol. 15 No. 1
an online journal of literature and the arts
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My City Is Also a City

The sun does rise over the hills
in Appalachia, over the lesser cities,
over the fields of corn stopped
abortively in their transit away
from the earth.

The sun seems to rise everywhere
and, hark, say the meteorologists—
apocalyptically coiffed, forsaken
spiritualists—hark, here comes the dry line!
Here comes your best entry
into drought!

The sun rises like a great infected eye,
like a fist, like a woman cringing
from a fist. The sun rises
like a bowl of water
we empty into the sink, like the singing
bugs we swat away
in the humid night.

Lo, it rises—even in the winter—
but emaciated like a balletic
leg to the barre, like
an anemic spleen struggling
with the body’s gastronomy.
It has to pump and thrust
itself above the tree line,
but it rises.

So insistent is the sun,
we learn to turn our faces from it,
which makes it wretched.

So insistently it wrenches the last
gray feelers
from the sky,
turns them the yellow
of your skin,

you, who struggle beneath it,
your shadow impressed upon
the small, dark rock
from which you scrutinize its working,
you, a pillar, whose meager shade
circumscribes the passage
of the other, that which
turns its face always toward the dark face
of this: our small, dark rock.  

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