Published on Academy of American Poets (https://poets.org)


Even the Gods

Even the gods misuse the unfolding blue. Even the gods misread the windflower’s nod toward sunlight as consent to consume. Still, you envy the horse that draws their chariot. Bone of their bone. The wilting mash of air alone keeps you from scaling Olympus with gifts of dead or dying things dangling from your mouth—your breath, like the sea, inching away. It is rumored gods grow where the blood of a hanged man drips. You insist on being this man. The gods abuse your grace. Still, you’d rather live among   the clear, cloudless white, enjoying what is left of their ambrosia. Who  should  be  happy  this  time?  Who  brings  cake  to whom? Pray  the  gods  do  not  misquote  your  covetous pulse for chaos, the black from which they were conceived. Even the eyes of gods must adjust to light. Even gods have gods.

Credit


Copyright © 2017 by Nicole Sealey. Originally published in Ploughshares. Used with permission of the author.

Author


Nicole Sealey

Nicole Sealey is the author of Ordinary Beast (Ecco Press, 2017). She is the Executive Director at the Cave Canem Foundation, and lives in Brooklyn, New York. 

Date Published: 2017-03-22

Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/even-gods