Buried in Sand

by Jim Benz

Here is what I see
when your long fingers clench
methodically into a fist
squeezing flesh and gray matter
at the moment of realization
and continue squeezing
until juice drips
like an actual proof, like blood
from a kufi, from a skull cap
or a script. I see rage
bleeding from a prophet’s sharp teeth,
and sobbing women
who wish to hold the whole sky to their breast
as if it were living.

(Does ideological stress
contribute to the agony in her heart,
to the way her eyebrows have sprouted
into a wail? If she eats McDonald’s
on the floor, buried in sand and mud brick,
will you return to your own world
and remove your memory?)

This is the dead fish smell, and the cats
who claw and fight over entrails,
over false contention and neck bones,
but you, content to eat stew
laced with oil,
who stows himself for protection
in a make-shift fabrication
of justice, built on the sand,
built from shit, straw
and a sleeping man’s reason,
you smirk, and boast
of another man’s life taken,
your grandeur,

even when he’s thrown a lamp
against your calculated wall.


Author's Note: subtitled: Anti-Ode to a President's Head

Posted on 08/23/2005
Copyright © 2020 Jim Benz

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