Poet Jeffery Beam

Sebastian at Siege

Mother, the air is a thief.
It steals salt from the body, loosens
the Will, until it splays out, liquid.
I sit straight up in bed, naked,
looking in the mirror. This, my body,
which I consume. The tendons
and frets on which it hangs.
Hating it once, it is now so beautiful, dying
in its time. Learning how to learn, to whistle
with the starlings, names a tender absolution.
In this Byzantine chamber, the air
makes a fist. An angel
bursting through the chalice of the flesh.
In these catacombs I perfect my sweat.

From The Fountain, 1992, North Carolina Wesleyan College Press.

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Last updated: October 1, 2012