Poet Wrestling with        d e a t h_____ t o u c h

They say: murderous resting face. & I say. Everyone
is a coward. In a ring of fire. There are only fists.

& liars. I sweep a leg. Bloodsport is not. For honor.
Don’t you know my name. What will you call me

when you shoot off. More bows.
Without arrows. Try to avenge me.

Harder. For all that eye. & tooth you.
Owe. Our monsters. If we find the right

speed, you can sing right through
the rain. Of bullets. I love a hunk

of tin stuffed
with explosives.

& helical springs.
& no apologies.

To men good
as dead. &

Believing. Their deaths.
& touches. Were always

real. Like your bone love
of the bomb. Always.

Gets me. Low-key
cathedral. On hotland

mornings. I’ve paid. In dust
Tokens. Kept safe. In a little

black box. Don’t you feel.
How I am. Hidden beneath
you. & you aren’t anything
more than my own

mangled gaze,
the swat of lips

that graze
a flame



Rosebud Ben-Oni

The recipient of the 2014 NYFA Fellowship in Poetry and 2013 CantoMundo Fellowship, ROSEBUD BEN-ONI's most recent collection of poems, turn around, BRXGHT XYXS, was selected as Agape Editions' EDITORS' CHOICE (2019). She writes weekly for The Kenyon Reviewblog; her work appears in Poetry, The American Poetry Review, The Poetry Review (UK), Tin House, Guernica, Black Warrior Review, among others. Her poem "Poet Wrestling with Angels in the Dark" was commissioned by the National September 11 Memorial & Museum in NYC and published by The Kenyon Review Online.

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