but the light against eyes makes vision

the man stands in his black skin     shaking

like a star before the black barrel

fills his vision     the tunnel     the cry

anticipating always what comes

is never what’s anticipated


here in the race pit     self-fulfilling

as a snake     the man chews his own tail

and I flex from the shoulders as if

winged     as if there is a sky above


but here inside the barrel we can

see no sky above but black-framed eye

afloat at the barrel’s edge     it waits

for one more cop his white skin steady

as the true aimed gun     we are inside


the barrel its edges a spiral

staircase missing the axis mundi

at the center     just a groove to spin

straight the projected force     it leaves us


exposing our insides to the sky

***** our redness and weather unraveled

on a street or sidewalk     I am not

really here I just read about it

***** my thin computer screen shooting light



Dan Rosenberg is the author of The Crushing Organ (Dream Horse Press, 2012) and cadabra (Carnegie Mellon University Press, 2015). His work has won the American Poetry Journal Book Prize and the Omnidawn Poetry Chapbook Contest. Rosenberg teaches literature and creative writing at Wells College and co-edits Transom.




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