Laocoön

The man held his two dead sons in his arms
and looked skyward, not trying to see gods,
but to arch his vision over the edge
of the horizon and find the real ones
to blame. Trying to see Athens or Rome,
Carthage or London. Moscow. Washington.
Who had sent serpents across the ocean?
Who was it this time? And once again, why?
And all he could hear were the rolling waves
lapping at the shore and the sighs of men
over newspapers rustling in a breeze.
And all he could ever see was nothing.
He was so many people, so many
damned people. And his eyes were made of stone.

 

*

 

Dan Albergotti is the author of The Boatloads (BOA Editions, 2008), selected by Edward Hirsch as the winner of the 2007 A. Poulin, Jr. Poetry Prize, and a limited-edition chapbook, The Use of the World (Unicorn Press, 2013). A new full-length collection, Millennial Teeth, was selected by Rodney Jones in the Crab Orchard Series Open Competition in 2013 and will be published by Southern Illinois University Press in September 2014. His poems have appeared in The Cincinnati Review, Five Points, The Southern Review, The Virginia Quarterly Review, and Pushcart Prize XXXIII, as well as other journals and anthologies. A graduate of the MFA program at UNC Greensboro and former poetry editor of The Greensboro Review, Albergotti is a professor of English at Coastal Carolina University in Conway, South Carolina.

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