On Silence

BY mark magoon

If only the entirety of the world
was the circumference of this neck.

Just imagine what hands could do
at such great size.

I have thought about killing everyone
so I'll tell you about my mother.

She thinks that right now, terrorists
forego sleep for sodomy.

She thinks that right now, terrorists
are voting for another black president.

4,500 people died in the time it took
to read that couplet and like always

large numbers seem believable
and authoritative, and pressing.

Dinner with my mother
makes me thinks of my mother.

My mother makes me think
of her mother and her sister

and her brother and her father.
One time my mother said 

Mark, none of this matters.
She was talking about life.

Life is a plan explained in screams.
Religion is a scream for those with nothing.

A war can start in many calls.
And my family is so quiet.

The Last Time

I was called a faggot. I was walking
down the side of the road taking pictures and

because it was prom or some school dance,
because the young man who borrowed his brother's truck

wanted so badly to impress
one of the girls seated in the back,

(both of whom were wearing purple dresses)
because they wanted to laugh

and shoot gravel up behind them--I was called faggot.
I think it was because I was taking pictures or

maybe because I was taking pictures and
because I was a stranger, but mostly,  just because,

I think. And this was back when I had my ulcers,
back when I burned out the lining of my stomach,

all the way through, gone with vodka, with Tylenol
and only blood to let go. And blood to shit.

This was back when I wanted more than anything
to call some place home. And that was the last time.


Mark reads "On Silence" & "The Last Time"


Mark Magoon writes poetry, short-fiction, and secret songs for his dog. He lives in Chicago with a wife far too pretty.