Michael Bazzett

after Tomaž Šalamun

Leather without history
is merely the skin of the dead

animals that once walked these fields.
Strength without rickets

can be seen on any playground.
Consider the appetite

of these children and remember:
blood is silk.

Walk silently away. Drop your empty
cup in the receptacle. Note

how the plastic helmet is stained brown
from where your lips drew coffee

out with a wet sound. Blood is like fruit.
Maybe spend a moment

thinking about the tanks and hunger
but keep moving.

There is no need to thrash yourself.
I know a doctor who can pull that

wire clean from your back. We
will roar and get excited soon enough.


Michael Bazzett has new poems forthcoming in New Ohio ReviewMassachusetts ReviewPleiadesSalt HillLiterary Imagination, and Prairie Schooner.  He is the author of The Imaginary City, recently published in the OW! Arts Chapbook Series, and They: A Field Guide, forthcoming from Barge Press in early 2013.  He lives in Minneapolis with his wife and two children.