Academic journal article Southern Quarterly

A Beggar's Bravery

Academic journal article Southern Quarterly

A Beggar's Bravery

Article excerpt

I.

We wish we knew

where to put the pain,

without too casual disregard,

without the wound crying in the sun

The wind has torn us,

the water has filled our lungs

And fire insults our slim survival,

as would a lover walking away from our true love

(Bourbon was quiet a week)

From workshop garrets,

we trace the crooked lines of chance

of slanted rooftops, because we ache to see

our city's (sublime) anatomy - above

the water drowning, below

the savage winds - as did Baudelaire

his city's raw desire and grief, its immortal friends,

its forgiven sins

Halleluja! Folk of the teeming, bleeding streets!

These rounds and grids and monuments encage

affinities - where each remakes, repeats, the space

bound other

Return to me! she pleads, I have nothing more

to sell, I am broken down for you, though I defy

the very ghosts of hell

She burns passions clean, tempered as the master's blade

shining in the sun, striking down Cassandra,

striking down no one

who dreams and toils and dreams

II. …

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