A Poem By Matthew Girolami


   after Chris Burden

You want to be bound,
in amber, fixed with pins:
your spine the concave
of a convex mirror.
If only we were closer
to the sun, it could take the gold
from your body, though still you’d be
staked to the board.
I suppose this is what they mean
when they talk of scarring.
I suppose this is why
there are vows in place—
all birds ground eventually
and Isaac and apples
and death and so on—
but if you refuse?
My father said the ancients would take long walks
to their end. He said
that was how he would exit, off stage:
the chorus heralding
sighing wind, brush shattering
beneath him,
unable to be anointed.

Matthew Girolami is senior poetry of Cleaver Magazine. He will attend the Iowa Writers’ Workshop beginning in the fall of 2016.


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