manifesto for the bones of a blue whale suspended from the ceiling

Deteriorated Gravestone

Kathryne David Gargano

the boy says:

devils cannot move human semen locally!

he cries it in the streets, flogging
his papers / so sensational, this boy—

he forgets so earnestly the way women
are born

out of the sea / the lapping
foam against the sand becomes rivulets & indentations / swollen

limbs bright with moulding

or the wolf that swallows a starling & spits
her back out with two legs

timber-like / the meteor

that edges the atmosphere & breaks into tiny women,
marbles in the ancient snow or

a bonfire / her arms a basket she will carry

to catch the girls unwanted by apple seeds / tipped
over the curtain of a mouth

Chosen by: Christian Stanzione, Assistant Poetry Editor

I have a soft spot for any piece of art that makes its home in contradictions because of the tension it provides me as a reader. Sometimes this simply means the piece in question forces us to recognize opposites — however, this poem takes the route of showing us that the apparent contradictions are really analogies. The boy forgets that women “are born out of the sea” but are also comets, bonfires, and ultimately suspended bones. This poem contains much in its small universe, and because of its content implicitly asks us what we contain in our own.

Art: Roger Camp, “Deteriorated Gravestone” Phoebe Issue #49.1

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