Forget the rented women taken to the barn
a second time, a third, by the father. Forget
ghosts that are leaves moved by wind
glossing one branch, another. A son,
opened by fear, is shown by his father how
to find manhood, maraud a wet heat.


Forgive the heat of two bodies:
a son with a boy, discovered. Both the key
————to unlock the other. And they burned.
Give him his father’s fist, its commandment. How
ghoulish the son’s puppet mouth that forges
Os in a woman’s thighs. To taste. The son
tastes. His father

Forgive the lantern’s dim light that wraps
a loneliness around
——————the son,
give him somewhere to put his hands.
Give the hunger of owls. Barn door
open—he resists, attempts to undo,
tosses like,
————like a burning body—


Fugitive, his body hates the woman it must enter

against its nature. The son’s craven

grunt more animal than animal whose reins

gave out beneath its rage. If he had hooves, let them knot at the ankle.

On his back now, legs in the air, legs forced open, a door

that his father enters. Enters more. His hands—


forced to fit   to weigh

against his son’s lips

————a hand      flat-palmed and held

gifted      a bit   a cloak   a thrust to make room

give something man to the un-man whose hands
——————cannot reject the fire      inner-lanced

over-bloomed      by his father’s

—————————–reign      fingers      they touch

a man’s touch on him      underneath and

———-behind      he entered him

to      reconfigure


Fig split by knife through its heatless heart the ripe

Architecture the sweet it is most known for how sweetness is

Given up from the sun-red interior handed over to the knife

Given up from the grass lifted up by the wind

Open windows forget their gaping and sunlight enters

The barn with light the color of a boy ran naked away


Phillip B. Williams is a Chicago, Illinois native. He is the author of the chapbooks Bruised Gospels (Arts in Bloom Inc. 2011) and Burn (YesYes Books, 2013). A Cave Canem graduate, he has received work-study scholarships from Bread Loaf. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Kenyon Review Online, Callaloo, The Southern Review, Painted Bride Quarterly, Sou’wester, West Branch, Blackbird and others. Phillip is currently a Chancellor’s Graduate Fellow at the Washington University in St. Louis and is working on his MFA in Creative Writing. He is the poetry editor of the online journal Vinyl Poetry.


One comment

  1. Pingback: Issue Two, June 1, 2013 | Matter

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