The Beneathist


Hope on fingernails on coffin quick,

nowhere as fast as bitterness sets in.

Root of gentians claim

where nerves pressed in.


How long been left in ‘s irrelevant:

if reduced to tendon the smell

still resentment, stillness still bedsore

when the body and soul end up on separate


signatures, finished by separate penmanship.

(Does hope flung eternal

even know Autumn?

Know a swill sweet of rotten?


Know it the way we’ve grown

bonefed cages in us? Inner cynic

all chin up to taste

the hope heaved up.)


See black choke back on a reach.

Everything seen is beneath.

Fractures the deep up from somewhere

deeper (We just want an answer

to the question all this ascending begs,

about origins, and wherever that is,

if death’s been),

from where there is no more

vertical a plea.


What a siege.

What a siege it can be to breathe.


& through the last cleaves seeping

like I’m what Earth bleeds, archenemy

of entropy, a blood bound up like chainmail,

resilient as ozone, flayed by mire, free.


Look, when ground into ligament

deliciously not tender skepticism.

Although fact becomes legend too quickly—

this canyon dug out, the fault hunt down from below.


Tattered sinews beat a banner

aglow. The familiar to war

feel familial tow. Triumph costs

what blood knows.


Michael Joseph Garza is a poet from Cicero, IL obsessed with Dean Young and The Roots. His poems have appeared in RHINO, The People's Tribune, Curbside Splendor's zine, and on postcards given to strangers. He is currently pursuing is BA in Communications at DePaul in Chicago.

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