Phillip B. Williams
The Sky Unveiled by Lightning
I could see if his arrogance were understandable,
as if making defensible the offense was some quality
largely unique and in its rarity largely wanted—
and want it I would had it been there and his crown
not transparent, not a haunting on his head, shining
as any sunken treasure would if possible to find
and reveal, let touch the sun. How to distinguish
between denying that shattering is possible and fighting
against the possibility of shattering, having discovered
that fragile part of yourself, embracing it no more
wanting it than the keeping of blades of glass inside
is a desire for the glass. When to remove what hurts
can quicken the kill—perhaps, that’s why I stayed.
I rally all the small diffusions into my weakest hand
to save a life. His. Mine. To bloody. To bleed.
Phillip B. Williams is the author of the poetry collection Thief in the Interior (Alice James Books, 2016), as well as the chapbooks Bruised Gospels (Arts in Bloom Inc., 2011) and Burn (YesYes Books, 2013). Phillip is a Cave Canem graduate and the poetry editor of Vinyl Poetry. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Callaloo, Kenyon Review Online, The Southern Review, Painted Bride Quarterly, West Branch, Blackbird and others. Williams is currently a Chancellor’s Graduate fellow at Washington University in St. Louis, where he is completing an MFA in creative writing.
This poem is not previously published.