Dipping-Bird (For Michael Brown)
Grief could not budge me, nor joy: the false binary.
So when the time came to be dignified as old wood
varnished from rot, or a pillbottle firebrand
fetal in husk of love, I thought only of the objective
pull toward dirt, lizardlike scream preceding
the order of things, the soul that nods like a dipping-bird.
Not unlike my father, whose hair grew from a patch of blonde stone.
or my mother, rising from the feet of holy men she loved.
His features sewn together by coteries of gargoyles;
Her arms threaded thru the black manhattan skyline.
I fled from the steam heat helical off their collarbones.
My teeth wound up like bedsheets, twisted, a seizure of atoms.
Bachelard, short of breath, wrote that
‘Inhabited space transcends geometric space,’
and so must affirm the body, most inhabited,
as most transcendent. But continually we have been the glib
observers of young men shattered through violence.
Celibate as galaxies huddled in the small of God’s marrow.
Their bodies are always collapsing,
collapsing always into our bodies.
Dominick Knowles is a writer living in New Jersey. He holds a BA in English from Ursinus College and is currently a PhD student at Brandeis University. His undergraduate poetry appeared annually in The Lantern, a student-run journal showcasing creative writing and art. He also edits Aux./Vox. magazine.