he is a veteran of something. The underestimated musculature
of his tail, a gatekeeper’s enlarged eye, his flailing jowl, those gravedigger
eyelids. Sleeps like a capsized boat
within watching distance of the shore.
Could blacksmiths have foreseen a world where
there would be a metal to join the collars of soldiers
but also, dogs? A cavalry of wind plagues each battlefield,
which makes the wind
the bloodiest spectator; wind was created as an aftermath
of the first beast’s joy and it has remained ever since.
He has use for his tail; but not his eyes. He has use for open air;
but not freedom.
Despite the wall-bumping, touchy weeds, accidental leaps off-curb,
and protective barking at dogs he can’t even see; he still
dredges into the trench of imitating the woundless.
Innocence begins here;
the bravery by which one navigates the world
like it doesn’t hold the schematics for sharpness.
Everything that tethers him to this world—
is artificially dangerous.
Granted, that is only the way of beasts. Granted,
who’s to say we ever stopped being animals?
Deon Robinson is an Afro-Latino poet born and raised in Bronx, New York. He is an undergraduate at Susquehanna University, where he was the two-time recipient of the Janet C. Weis Prize for Literary Excellence. You can find his work currently or forthcoming in Glass’ Poets Resist Series, Homology Lit, Honey and Lime, Kissing Dynamite Poetry, Occulum Journal, and Shade Journal, among others. Follow his misadventures and let him know what your favorite poems are on Twitter @djrthepoet.