Victims of the Sun

Flashing a thumbs up for the camera

a girl before body a candied twelve year old

twirl with the grave running off her in black

rivulets. One of hundreds and one in a million

take your pick the wind says bored already

putting her back into its delicate clear hands

tossing her into the sky and still nothing

in this pink tumble has any knowledge of what

happened next (the fire running its fingers through

her hair, the rock and shale they’ll find her

lungs stuffed with, breathe deep, make a wish,

take the fragment that pierced her brain out

put it back). The sun is everything that happens

under it and another thing it is what happens

inside it and I think the sun is sick now in NYC

in Los Angeles in Gaza the sun so bright it could

break a limb so bright as if something larger

something darker were within it at the very heart

pushing the brightness outward a million spears

of sun in a million girls lying in dry fields their

strong brown arms.


Russel Swensen’s work has appeared in Black Clock, Quarterly West, Pank, Better, Third Coast, The Collagist, and elsewhere. He is the author of Santa Ana  (Black Lawrence Press 2012) & The Magic Kingdom  (Black Lawrence Press 2016).


One comment

  1. Pingback: Table of Contents, Issue 14 | Matter

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s