Published on Academy of American Poets (

Arsenal 4

in clotted 
stone of 
the war 
and its gleaming
battle plans 
reduced to 
the floors reappear 
in silent 
symphonic gestures,
a folded paper
calico window 
hung with tiger 
skins, knocking twice
at night 
Jerusalem red 
worn more 
as a garland 
than her smear turning 
trampled door
breaking the fall 
under square jars, 
in long fits
in hieroglyphics 
the painters 
weaned on
bent reed pens 
drilled holes, blood 
ink of gorgons 
sample of 
the sirens
in delay over
and underwater
bluish grey 


Copyright © 2018 by Cedar sigo. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on December 10, 2018, by the Academy of American Poets.

About this Poem

“I wanted condensed color in places then color degraded and bleeding out into other spots. In order to perform this poem successfully, I try to concentrate on skating only its silences. I break the line quickly to make it fall tall and thin, like the Watts Towers. This way I can identify the silences streaming through a little easier as I'm reading. My partner recently asked me to read this poem as I was preparing to perform, but he couldn't remember the title. When I asked him to describe it, he said, ‘You know, the poem where you describe all the colored gasses.’”
—Cedar Sigo


Cedar Sigo

Cedar Sigo's most recent book is Royals (Wave, 2017). He lives in Lofall, Washington.

Date Published: 2018-12-10

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