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By Phillip B. Williams

A monstrosity in the alley.

A many-bodied movement grouped

for terror, their flights’ brief shadows

on the kitchen curtains, on the street’s

reliquaries of loose squares and hustle.

Some minds are groomed for defiance. The youngest

calls out his territory with muscular vowels

where street light spills peculiar, his hand

a chorus of heat and recoil. “Could have been

a doctor” say those who knew and did not

know him, though he never wanted to know

what gargles endlessly in a body — wet hives,

planets unspooled from their throbbing shapes.

There are many ways to look at this.

He got what he wished against. He got

wings on his shoes for a sacrifice. The postulate

that stars turn a blind eye to the cobalt corners

of rooms is incorrect. Light only helps or ruins sight.

Daylight does cruel things to a boy’s face.


Source: Poetry (February 2016)

Poet Bio

Phillip B. Williams was born in Chicago, Illinois. He is a Cave Canem graduate and the poetry editor of the online journal Vinyl Poetry. Williams is currently a Chancellor’s Graduate fellow at Washington University in St. Louis, where he is completing an MFA in creative writing.

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