Blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsFall 2016  Vol. 15 No. 2
an online journal of literature and the arts
 print preview

Translation Theory

Thought awe, like my God but without a crown
and fewer horses. Dined on songbirds and imported wine
and thought their gods would’ve surrendered to me if I was taller.
Thought gold, thought land, thought dear subjects. Thought
control, like a groom tattooing his I do on his bride’s thigh,
like the bride transcribing a groom’s vows in chalk, like
the merchant selling chalk and needles. Thought
kill her already, like imagination’s darkest figment.
Thought glory, like the captive with wrists
bound singing black vowels into the gun’s barrel.
The word transubstantiated into the machine,
wonderful in its throb. The heart, that divine assailant.
What’s pulled from the earth but not translated—
the mud and the red of it, the blood and the wet of it.  

return to top