RR

They Tango Beneath the Daniel Webster

they are so close they

are a body and its ghost

blossom and its branch

 

her own arcing over his

prone her owning

him nothing and every

 

she holds him in the hot

grip of legs he gives

into sweet imperial

 

riding she widening

curtains of his shirt to

nest in a theater of fur

 

around them the voices

buried in wires listen

though elsewhere people

 

tweeze bullet shells

and gloves finger the ash

of neighbors after still

 

another massacre and though

reporters note the absence

of outrage of Afghanis

 

to the latest outrage

and the war’s locked in

so many closets and bodies

 

OUR COUNTRY

OUR COUNTRY

AND NOTHING BUT

tangle the tango

lying to rise as dark

falls and cherry blooms

 

text their wireless perfume

to the account of air

in the middle of this dying

 

empire the cars careen

around this traffic island

of prone skin

 

her mouth opens

his mouth they are

tasting what it means

 

the sweet amnesia

stygian happiness

to be alive even as we

 

wring our hands and talk

war and torture to death

poor Daniel Webster

 

standing above them

pedestal upon pedestal

upon pedestal his immortal

 

bronze thrusting up

and up and no one

to tender or soften him

 

LIBERTY AND UNION

NOW AND FOREVER

ONE AND INSEPARABLE

Contributor
Philip Metres

Philip Metres is the author and translator of a number of books and chapbooks, including Sand Opera(2015), I Burned at the Feast: Selected Poems of Arseny Tarkovsky (Cleveland State Poetry Center, 2015), Complete Catalogue of Comedic Novelties: Poetic Texts of Lev Rubinstein (Ugly Duckling Presse 2014), A Concordance of Leaves (Diode 2013), abu ghraib arias (Flying Guillotine 2011), To See the Earth (Cleveland State 2008), and Behind the Lines: War Resistance Poetry on the American Homefront since 1941 (University of Iowa 2007). His work has appeared in Best American Poetry, numerous journals and anthologies, and has garnered two NEA fellowships, the Thomas J. Watson Fellowship, five Ohio Arts Council Grants, the Beatrice Hawley Award, two Arab American Book Awards, the Cleveland Arts Prize, the Anne Halley Prize, the PEN/Heim Translation grant, a Russian Institute for Literary Translation grant, and the Creative Workforce Fellowship. He is Professor of English at John Carroll University in Cleveland. 

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