Difficult, but not to be confused with wound, or mark, or the sharp twist in the road ahead. If one said curve, there might be some tension lost: how the headlights can nearly penetrate the opacity of this storm; how the clouds linger and sway, as if unswept. Bayer never had the chance to name this road. He might have called it first among equals, or last. All in Greek, of course. He may have known that when you mention twins, whether in constellations or in the hollow hull of a black ship, Castor always precedes.
Bollocks to Pollux. Everyone pays attention to his brother: the horseman, the athlete. Everyone pays attention to his sister: the whore, the lacrimae. When someone inevitably asks, they say half-immortal, thank you. Which is to say not entirely divine and not entirely held in the black dirt, the long banks, the cut corn that lie like spent sheaths and scabbards.
What happens to an animal when it's kept in complete darkness? Forget this face. Forget your place, brother. Forget the lance of each lament; the tortuosity of finger felt walls. Movement requires mass, then weight, then faith in guided closure of object from position to place. In the beginning, a hand is held above the head. It rests in anticipation of arc. Its aim always just beyond whatever it seeks to destroy.
Small, or uncertainly so. Mouth of this. Tributary of that. Tribute can be a small copper coin in a small copper bowl; gold, if you're lucky, or blessed, or considerate of either. The sound against metal registers as infinitesimal among the infinitesimal changes in a closed system. The act of giving: continuous, but irrelevant.
Of course it means the striped back of a moth against the morning newspaper; the single wing that struggles to begin. Of course there's tiny holes in the Tatsoi. Everything eats. Everything deflects under a heavy load, like a cantilever beam given a new radian angle. Here is my fixed end. Here is my free. A show of force multiplied by some length cubed.
It's a poem of force, or force that indents this cross beam into the inflammation of a mosquito bite. It hurts? Say three Hail Marys, and use force if it bothers you again. Remember: though you are the defendant, and He is the prosecutor, the burden of proof is yours.
Matthew Minicucci is the author of the chapbook Reliquary (Accents Publishing, 2013). His work has appeared in or is forthcoming from numerous journals, including The Gettysburg Review, The Southern Review, The Journal, Hayden's Ferry Review, West Branch, and Crazyhorse, among others. He has also been featured on Verse Daily. He currently teaches writing at the University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign.
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