Poetry by John Grey

BUMPER STICKER

It reads MY CHILD
IS AN HONOR STUDENT
AT THOMAS JEFFERSON HIGH.
It doesn’t say
he looked into his heart
and tried to write
but came up against
a pain and spirit
too expressionless
for any poem,
that he imagined himself
hot and hungry on a raft,
a thousand miles from land,
that he cut his finger
and the blood flowed
and he feared that it was
hollowing out his body.

Nothing there of
how he came to identify with
a roadkill Jesus
on a cross of asphalt,
or the dark, smelly water
at the well bottom,
or the squeal of an electric guitar
chain-sawing through its own feedback.

It just said he had been set
some small insignificant task
unrelated to his life
and he had completed it successfully
by paying it no mind.

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