Nov/Dec 2017 • Vol. XXXIX No. 6 PoetryNovember 1, 2017 |

Beautiful Throat

Beheadings, slaughter of the innocents, suffering and sorrow say all the stabbed, ecstatic art of the museums and more of the samesays the news, the glowing, after glowing now what, but also in the crowded galleries babies held by mothers looking at babies being artfully held in the celestial rain, the fat buttery ones, part putto, part lard who appear ready to slip from mother's arms out of the frame into smoke and storm, the non-art part of the world, that disobedient, expensive partlike a furious sea you paid to cross in an inflatable plastic raft, a child's toy in a bath it looks likefrom America where we have no fate we can't make. Fate is guns and money swamping the stars. Fate is the bewitched mixtureof fuel with sea water that incinerates the self. Fate is the decree of childhood evaporating into unauthorized space where the I/you is so much questioning and answering non-art. In artI see the gold leaf, the gashes, the beautiful throats and hear the trauma arias of martyrdom

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Bruce Smith is the author of six books of poems, most recently Devotions, a finalist for the National Book Award, the National Book Critics Circle Awards, the L.A. Times Book Award, and the winner of the William Carlos Williams Prize.

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