Incendiary Art: The Body

p
o
e
m
s

I’ve nightmared your writhe, glum
fists punching their way out of your
own body, the blind stumble through
the buckled vein of your throat as
your nerve endings sputtered and blew.
I’ve dipped my finger into a vaporous
pool of your skin. The heat blessed
your whole new self with horizon,
square-jawed boy. With such potent
intent, you blared illicit and just enough
saint. Now, with so many northern
days between us, you are much easier
to God. But they are looking for you.
They are wildly sloshing fuel across
the landscape and they are screeching
your name. Today, one said I sure would
like to burn a black man alive
. So, yep,
you left us here with undulating acres
of fools and that particular stank leg
of gospel. You left us all this snuff,
hawk and proud little bowleg, you left
their brains stunned by dairy and fat
meat. You left us not much path, even
after your body was that brief beauteous
torch. They seem to remember you
fondly. And there are unstruck matches
everywhere.

Patricia Smithis the author of seven books of poetry, including Shoulda Been Jimi Savannah, Blood Dazzler, and Incendiary Art.

You Might Also Enjoy

The Birthday Party

Joe Fodor

Trick Dogs and Warthogs are rolling on the lawn of the child’s birthday party the Trick Dog is tame the Warthog is Wild only. . .

poems

Baffler Newsletter

new email subscribers receive a digital copy of our current issue.

Further Reading