blackbird online journal spring 2002 vol.1 no. 1




As slaughter holds a lamb,
            as the lamb holds blood,
                        as blood holds iron,
            as iron holds rust,
so this meaty corrosion
            is held in your mouth
                        to be swallowed—
            but before swallowing
to be caressed, air drawn
            over your tongue, over
                        this shallow of scotch
            in your jaw, as if the scent
walked on water, and yes,
            let's speak of it that way,
                        God, Jesus, the holy spirit,
            yes, let’s worship in terms
of proof, age, thirty years
            going on thirty-one,
                        Aberlour versus Glen,
            Paul versus John,
let's assign the sharp,
            the honeyed, let's give
                        the Baptists Oban—
            loam, moss, peat,
let's talk of the ground,
            let's lie on the ground,
                        let's talk about resurrection
            and have another round,
let's talk for hours
            before you sober up,
                        my darling, my disciple,
            before you remember
how you spoke of oak
            and sherry caskets, which
                        produced a better flavor,
            and not one of your friends
asked if you meant cask

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