Said Gun's 100th Birthday
It was so cold geese began to gather
on my porch, their rumps
pressed to the warmth seeping out.
They defecated in congress, dreaming of Yucatan.
By morning, wind had frozen their curb of scat so solidly
I couldn’t open the door.
I would not allow myself to die behind a door made of shit.
That day, I left death in a basket to chew its stump.
I allowed myself to think about coming years:
perhaps I’d tattoo the wrinkles of my handskin
and see the Nile delta, or smoke
a battery-powered cigarette. Maybe,
as if to welcome my glance, a pheasant will fall apart
into four equal parts in front of me.
A woman could move in
smelling of salt and lavender.
I could unravel heaven and earth
and find at their core a fossilized goat
in whose chest is lodged a single black bullet
around which we spin.
184 The Paris-American
Andrew Grace's manuscript in progress is titled The Last Will and Testament of Said Gun. Poems from this project have appeared in the New Yorker, Missouri Review, Poetry Daily, Shenandoah, Guernica, 32 Poems and are forthcoming in the Kenyon Review, New England Review and Poet Lore. He is the author of three previous books and teaches at Kenyon College.
Next week's poet:
Amanda Jane McConnonJJCCCACc