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)
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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