Sean Singer

The Burghers of Calais

What of the hard, chained man in drab
or oil-gray? Supplant his adamantine
heart with a soft laminae heart.
Who is weeping inside the hot metal?


            To leave this godforsaken slag scrub,
            I would unravel the blue twine
            of my aorta and spurt
            away. While the beast chews his meat, I’ll


            slip out of his ear into the snow.
            There I will see there are others
            gesturing, an alchemy of flesh.


Wind making tremolo
through the daisies—: smothered
under a sheet of bronze, under a ghost of ash.




(Rodin, Auguste, The Burghers of Calais, 1884-86, Bronze,
82 1/2 x 95 x 78 in., Rodin Museum, Philadelphia)