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


America: Hepatomancy

If the liver is the source of blood: if the liver is the source
of life: if the people live with blood, visceral, on the sidewalks; the news
ticker divining Police Kill:  the news ticker divining Supporters Shout;
 
if the people mow the bright green golf-course grass
of battlefields:  Pea Ridge, Antietam:  dust the sky with flags
and mow the grass, and the liver blinks toxic as a neon sign,
 
and the men move the pegs in the stock market
and the men water the grass; and Hate and Hate; and the men
say, Let the President; and the people say, Compassion; and the liver
 
reveals its dark deities on the walls of buildings;
its ancient symbols; and the liver reveals the people’s bodies
coursing strange bloods; and the men lean in closer to observe
 
how their pockets fill; and the liver shines like the knife
that opens it; the liver shines like a safe word on a tongue;
and someone says, It’s all consensual. And someone says, Help.

Credit


Copyright © 2017 Alexandra Teague. Used with permission of the author. This poem originally appeared in Tin House, Fall 2017.

Author


Alexandra Teague

Alexandra Teague is the author of the poetry collections The Wise and Foolish Builders (Persea Books, 2015) and Mortal Geography (Persea Books, 2010), which which won the 2009 Lexi Rudnitsky First Book Prize in Poetry and the 2010 California Book Award.

Date Published: 2017-09-28

Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/america-hepatomancy