Wesley Rothman

Section 4
Wesley Rothman
 
What is Given, What is Done
 
What Is Given, What Is Done    	    •  Inheritance is a rifle We accept with little Consideration. With   Nostalgia, reverence For the life had, we Will keep the past  Thriving. We will Care for the barrel, Brush the bolt & firing  Pin, keep the stock’s Memory of holding. Every surface we deem  Holy; every flaw we Make shine. We man The safety, the trigger,  & climb into the chamber. You make my aerodynamics Unforgettable, ancestors,  Shape me sharp, file me & tip me with mercury. O, what tradition bores —   	         •  If I become a hand  palm  Flat & face-up    If I kneel  At the feet of the wounded  Mangled  defiled generations  If I kiss the earth-bound  Bodies  open my mouth   You make my aerodynamics Unforgettable, ancestors,  Shape me sharp, file me & tip me with mercury. O, what tradition bores —   	         •  If I become a hand  palm  Flat & face-up    If I kneel  At the feet of the wounded  Mangled  defiled generations  If I kiss the earth-bound  Bodies  open my mouth  For the spirits unending    If  I exalt the colorful spectrum  Of woven threads  fierce  Muscle of every body  Tightening in thrall   & jubilation    If we smelt  The metal  repurpose wood  Into gift    If we wrap danced  Legs & blend our sweat  breathe  Breath not our body’s    If we  Melt our lips with another’s song —
 
 
 
Wesley Rothman’s poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Copper Nickel, Crab Orchard Review, Harvard Review, Mississippi Review, New England Review, Prairie Schooner, Vinyl, Waxwing, and the Poets on Growth Anthology, among other venues. His criticism has been featured by Callaloo, Boston Review, American Microreviews and Interviews, and Rain Taxi Review of Books. He has served Copper Canyon Press, Ploughshares, Narrative, Salamander, and Tupelo Quarterly, and teaches writing and cultural literatures throughout Boston. Recent honors include Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net nominations, a Vermont Studio Center fellowship, and finalist standing for the Emory Poetry Fellowship and 49th Parallel Poetry Prize. His first full manuscript, SUBWOOFER, was a finalist for the Crab Orchard Poetry Series Open and First Book Competitions. Find more: wesleyrothman.wordpress.com
 

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