that the world belongs to a stony-hearted goat-god—
how every time we act, we enact
his vileness; how this is no
ecstasy, just a bad labored joke.
Your body in spasm
longs to strip the flesh, but if you do
there will be nothing left but the busy
bone-clatter of tactics.
I will listen instead to the river,
cold as time, smelling of blood-brown leaves.
April Bernard is the author of Brawl & Jag (W. W. Norton, 2016). She lives in Saratoga Springs, New York, where she teaches at Skidmore College and in the low-residency MFA in Writing program at Bennington College.