So tempting, still, to want to arch desire in the direction
of what doesn’t merely live— by grace— on the season’s margins.
Like crows and common starlings, bronzed gloss of feathers flashing
where they forage in the dirt, or on the sidewalk’s margins—
Tap into the popular vein, says a friend: write blood, gore, sex, vampires;
more sex, then zombies. You’ll sell like hotcakes from the margins.
And pedigree? Unfortunately I’m still not pure enough, nor hybrid enough:
my accidents of birth, of history; my gender, color, keep me in the margins.
Prove more, prove higher, prove over and over— And while you’re at it,
take care you don’t show up another, perched higher above your margin.
How long have such races been run? Here’s a short list of prize deferments:
Atalanta’s golden apples, Tantalus’ hunger rising and ebbing into the margins.
Suckled in the wilderness, that amazon learned to hunt and fight with the bears.
And that cannibal, child-killer, dog-stealer? What other notes are in the margins?
Who funded those commercials? If you had stolen nectar and ambrosia off the table
of the gods, wouldn’t you be blacklisted, your name defiled in the margins?
And yes, I might push that rock from sandy bottom up to the crest of the hill: but
my loyalty belongs to that frisson no one sees, that fire I tend within the margins.
In response to small stone (173).