City Scape 1

113: First Will & Testament

First Will & Testament
by sam sax

i look to history to explain & this is my first mistake.
when i say history i mean the stone
half-buried by the roadside has witnessed
more tragedy than a filthy glass of a water. i look to the water
but all i see is dust. i look to the dust & all there is
is history. here’s a feather & well of blood
to write the labor movement across the fractal
back of infrastructure. here’s a father leaving home
to build railroads with his bare hands. write the laws
that claw the eyes from owls, that build a wall
between the river & the thirsty, that drag families
from one hell into the next. o this house of mine
was built by men & o i, a man sometimes, pass
through its acid chambers & leave out the backdoor
dust. when i say history i mean what lives in us,
i mean the faux gold chain around my neck,
the diseases passed from generation to generation
dating back to a time before christ, i mean any word
traced to its origin is a small child begging for water.

"First Will & Testament" from BURY IT by sam sax. Copyright © 2018 by sam sax. Used by permission of Wesleyan University Press.

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