Ross Gay

Man Tries to Commit Suicide With a Crossbow

For Thomas Lux
And fails. First, imagine the weapon
pointing heavenward beneath his chin. After the trigger’s
quick tick, the following: what, for said
undead, must have sounded like a rocket’s stratospheric crash,
which is to say the arrow just
crested the crown (i.e. it got stuck). At which point, the head
now a kebob, said undead had
the wherewithal to unscrew the skewer
from the little lodged missile and pull it out. To walk
to the emergency room.
I love to think
grace takes strange shapes: the arrow
balm to the howl of neurons.
To think of that walk beneath the velvet night.
Stay with me. Don’t think
headache. Think
instead: the stars’ ancient light warming
his just budding horn.

Ross Gay
Poem, copyright © 2005 by Ross Gay
Appearing on From the Fishouse with permission
Audio file, copyright © 2005, From the Fishouse