The King Is Dead, Long Live the King
Heaven is the certainty that you will be avenged I know I know the kingdom is not fair but it’s what I have a montage of red and a mitosis of knuckles I’m not sure how you could expect me to love anything Ain’t no question sadness is regal like that golden and replaceable once I wanted a lineage of identical men once a mouth soft and hot as the quickest way that gold can hurt you You see a pattern yet? I practice the want of nothing and fail I’ve been shown how ugly I can be when I am invisible I don’t believe in yesterdays The throat of loneliness? Straddled with my knife I press my hands to my face and the lament is a valley the light sags through What do you do when you have lost Everything? Rewrite the history of Everything I don’t like my smile because someone told me I didn’t like it Now I am gorgeous in all the languages I mothered Flex the antonym of Missing I avenge myself Stretch my hands I orphan my grief for the living and it is beauty ain’t no question I monarch the lonely I my own everything now I miss my love and it is an American grief I strike the smell from nostalgia cut my memory to spite my country What is the odor of nothing but my dominion in want of excess I grin and pillars of bone flower into sawed-off crowns say I flex the light and the light flexes heat shimmer unfurling like a bicep my lust a mirage where the body is merely a congealing of the river I can feel it slowly drifting away from me The world I knew is gone and getting more gone and my anthem populating my nose with an abundance of salt I slip the shroud over the life I named and forget I belonged to someone once My soverign's face is a riot of diamonds whining This will be a beautiful death and I am free and gorgeous and desperate to never have to miss anyone again I rock the jeweled shroud become the bride of my own sad light
Copyright © 2018 by Julian Randall. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on September 3, 2018, by the Academy of American Poets.