Published Work of Miriam C. Jacobs

Home » POETRY » “The Human Office,” Amaranth Review, Spring 2017

“The Human Office,” Amaranth Review, Spring 2017

POETRY

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The Human Office
 
Lift your chin in sunlight,
turn south, leave it behind.
At night, they say, he beats the newborn for crying.
Bound to every person – contracted to chance –
a dark parking lot, keen blade, rough bomb
knotted beneath a bumper –
to those who know you by proximity
asleep, apartment building in flames,
or intimately, sidewalk daughters,
braids swinging under a winter sun,
car behind, swerving, bottoming over a curb,
the fine grain of their skin,
a steel wink.
You carry other people like sharks in a handbag,
risking with every choice the hard slap of betrayal.
Strapped to your hip, they crumble
like that lawn spreader, beat to bits with a mallet,
handprint singing;
duty, or love, become
the pistol he held to your head.
 
 


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