Monday, September 18, 2006

A Poem from David Wright

If Poets Ruled

Forget the world. Even a small,
previously nomadic batch of tribes,
favorably attuned to his public voice,
as they build a bare land into oasis,
will fade from view when the poet-king
finds himself captive in the small cleft
at the base of his neighbor’s back. She bathes,
and he turns to the lyric, a honeyed song
he pulls from the hive below his belly,
the strain of a need so resonant that now,
though he foresees a war, a few more wars,
a murder or two, a beloved son’s wild ride
and death, his own public scalding
by a prophet, the scouring of his skin
with hyssop and stone, he’ll risk it.
He knows this chord, selah. How long
it lasts: song of songs, generations hence.


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