Blog Post / fall 2015 / Featured / Issues / Poetry / Poetry 2015 / Uncategorized

The Wound—Alexander Curren Stinton

That the tongue is often mistaken

for the body’s strongest muscle is no surprise.

I have a friend who might well heft to the tomb

the weight of every word spoken to him.


If pressed he might recast us to the womb,

replay labor’s caterwaul, the intermittent intercom

of mask-dappled voices. How the cava

he’s known in sleep, its gaseous tickle, its vats of phlegm


so soothing, slips rock to lava:

breached tuft and something like light beyond those tears, until

at last the inhuman windpipe pitches

its pain whole to the doctor’s bloodied hands.


That we are born so inconsolable, Alec,

is no real fire: the very squaring of womb and tomb

is enough to regret this stranger’s sweep,

these testy smacks on the ass like first punishment.


When we spoke last night you reinvigorated

your mother’s vodka tonics, the cigarettes and talk

around the kitchen sink. Now she’s inherited the spirit world

of her childhood home, you a rented room.

I can lament the slippage of person, place and thing

only as much as my blood becoming anyone’s

once it fills the bag. I envy the savant’s swath, your immaculate map—

having nothing but rhyme to staunch this wound.

Nothing but sound groping what’s gone before

to make less strange the stranger at my door.

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