'Shock' by Jim Davis-Rosenthal
Shock, Jim Davis-Rosenthal, 1999.



Ray Gonzalez


There is an object that wants to speak.
It moves with doubt and love to share
          the broken treaty of the badger
trapped inside the wish of a fallen young man.

The desire of this object is not available to all of us.
A focus.
          A murmur.
A precise bending around the waist of a body taunted by fear,
tested to be solid in behaving as if this was the end of the world.

No spill.
          No fortune.
No puzzle when the young hunter finds the badger gnawing
its trapped leg to get loose, its snarl a falling cone of music
          for his arrival.

On a vase, blue shapes like blue men—tall and thin,
blue bodies returning from a war fought inside the century.
          As if calling the blue painted on the vase
would be the wrong thing to do.
The sound of the freed badger.

A voice breaks.
          No wind.
No rapture.
In case of wrong speech, language is invented to erase the past.
A voice commissions a truce among brown-skinned relatives
          who speak a tongue in danger of being cut.

The object of this search was documented generations ago.
It has nothing to do with food or hunger or the return of lost men.
          There is an object that needs to be claimed.







Text © 1996, 1999 by Ray Gonzalez
"Object" first appeared in Many Mountains Moving, Volume II, Number 2. The work appears here by permission of the author.

Original Graphic Image, "Shock" © 1999 by Jim Davis-Rosenthal

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