Blood Argument

You insist
that the world belongs to a stony-hearted goat-god—
how every time we act, we enact
his vileness; how this is no
ecstasy, just a bad labored joke.

Your body in spasm
longs to strip the flesh, but if you do
there will be nothing left but the busy
bone-clatter of tactics.


I will listen instead to the river,
cold as time, smelling of blood-brown leaves.


Copyright © 2016 April Bernard. Used with permission of the author.

About this Poem

“Although this is not a sonnet, I got interested in the possibilities of argument as a poetic mode when I started studying sonnets in depth. I keep playing with two voices, or more, or just the self arguing with itself—in a refusal of consensus, an insistence on the unresolved.”
—April Bernard