Back to Issue Seven.

Pivot and Hum



This is where I called for God
and you smiled. This is where
I tried to say enough, but only gasped
my breakage, bucked like a mare.

Beast breathing hyperbole. Slow
don’t—I said don’t to the music,
my body’s syncopation: ass clap,
uncanny fetal curl, bruises to lick.

I said don’t beneath the white pillow,
said white pillow but meant my teeth
were learning each feather. Bone crack
played back like a laugh track.

I was naked when I was the pillow. Then
I was not pillow but stone, hardened by
what you called devotion. Gods call
things other things all the time: mine

meaning love, love meaning attention
falling beyond indifference. This is where
I call you God and laugh, a minor
lapse: I make due, am inner-snared

and pose macabre, my spine-curve harsh.
I’ve lost your name in my mouth’s keen dark.

Phillip B. Williams is a Chicago, Illinois native. He is the author of the chapbooks Bruised Gospels (Arts in Bloom Inc. 2011) and Burn (YesYes Books, 2012). His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Callaloo, The Southern Review, Painted Bride Quarterly, Sou’wester, West Branch, Blackbird, and others. Phillip is currently a Chancellor’s Graduate Fellow at the Washington University in St. Louis and is working on his MFA in Creative Writing. He is the poetry editor of the online journal Vinyl Poetry.