Today's poem is by Amy King

State of a Nation

The actor is a second life
of people drawn
on the achievable with fiction.
The characters are fleeting
when an actor's flame
blows the shortest immortality.
As a result, great achievements
are limited to audience.
But the audience pants on.
Saliva glows on the mouths'
cornered sounds.
We might live five hundred years
on time's sandbags
that prick with passivity's angels.
They hole our breath and weight us.
The stage baits.
Lungs blow over liver-grey streets.
No one's name survives
some small comfort
though hope will surely be given
ever after. Even after,
we still live in the present.
We live as presidents.
We hold on to the value
of a vote, a soliloquy, a sword,
and the lights after curtain.
Ten thousand years and the barrier
between inner and outer,
grape skin and meat,
sticks marred by grey matter.
That lives will dine at single tables
fermenting veins that push
against wine and palate, seat and vision,
the drive to behave and
the drive to portray knocks our hearts
in order not to die from these truths,
however tailored and ill-fitted.
The only thing to ask?
When I am a million candles,
be my feet.
When I please
with human crisis,
carry me into your finish.
When the tide waxes bold,
grow roots from the specters
beyond me. When I die,
play the boy on the soul
of that death and use
my memory's mud
to make gods of us from the dust.

Copyright © 2009 Amy King All rights reserved
from Slaves to Do These Things
BlazeVOX [books]
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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