Dark figures disappear
into El Barrio’s erotic red,
into paintings of conquistadores.
I listen to the sound of language,
comforted by my lack of understanding.
If they speak of love here,
I won’t know it.
Mother of IRA Leader Tries to Bury her Son
My feet don’t fail me.
Morning, we start again, casket raised above the crowd.
We push forward, troops drive us back.
I want a place for him to finally die.
Each evening my hands pray, tomorrow.
They shout a hero’s chants as I reach for the hard shell that holds him.
I want to kneel at his grave and forgive no one.
They claim him for themselves, but I loved him before reason.
I bring bodies alive with a quarter,
Watch them laboring
Like pistons and cylinders,
To unlearn the beauty of you,
This pornography does best,
Ending like all of us—
A quick click in the dark.
MARC J. FRAZIER has appeared in The Spoon River Poetry Review, ACM, Ascent, Permafrost, Plainsongs, Poet Lore, Rhino, among many others. He is the recipient of an Illinois Arts Council Award for poetry and the author of The Way Here, a full-length poetry collection and two chapbooks. His second full-length collection, Each Thing Touches, is from Glass Lyre Press, 2015. Visit www.marcfrazier.org.