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The DuBose and Dorothy Heyward Society Prize, Winter 2015
Brian Slusher
To the Man Who Took a Selfie on Top of the Elephant He Shot
For me, you should be met in the afterlife
By the creature you killed, and it would
Be armed with a gun so exquisitely precise
It can hit individual cells, no, molecules,
Blasting each electron, proton, neutron
With a festering wound,
                                  but I’m not
In charge. Instead, that ungainly gray form
You squatted upon with glee will approach
slowly, showing no bloodlust or bluster
And though you will flinch, it will drape
Its trunk around your shoulders so
Gently, you will think your mother’s arm
Caresses you (she you hated for being
So weak) and you will see your
Bloated face reflected in its holy
Gaze, floating like a babe in a starry womb.
And you
            will tear your eyes from their sockets,
Fiercely fling them away, yet in the Greek mode,
They will grow back, rooted more
Surely, and again you’ll witness an elephant’s
Tears as it embraces your worthless self, forgives
Your massacres, kisses the gashes you
Eternally make.

©2015 Brian Slusher