Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Christopher Janigian: Bastille Day

Trees bend here. 
Then venom spills into 
thick canals— 

they harbor 
lifeless barges. Men blow 
ghosts, burn lung—hands run 

through hair. The throat 
grows a rose—blooming blood 
by the villa. Words 

vein, roll from 
someone’s tongue. Bent 
god: flash by 

with your bullet vest. 
Do not watch this 
terrible sky— 

lightning cracks it 
with yellow saw-teeth. It is not 
for you. The dark-

skinned man stands, rises 
to popular flux: locked 
hands, perfect soldiers. Eye 

contact costs a fortune. Black-
eyed god: watch the high 
wheel of bone. 

O, stone and river. This place 
swells with soldiers. Again 
shadows swarm the streets: police 

in bombshell suits spit 
at helmeted heads, 
lazy tongues. We pass one 

mouth I will match: 
the dead sphinx. I will stare 
into the numb umbrella of a hood.

Christopher Janigian is a senior at Brown University concentrating in Literary Arts and English Literature. 

This poem has previously appeared in Issue VII, Fall 2012 of The Round, a Brown University literary publication.  

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