Poetry 2017

Parable of Eyelids & Foreskins

By: Daniel Grigg


Pray for me, pure Archipelago,

one holy catholic apostolic

& my good friend

come home from summer in Geneva

holding his new girlfriend’s hand.


He & she watch me

asking, Why are you standing

on the hysterical table? To which I say,

Why is that fucking helicopter

following me again?


It’s the only world I know;

again I’m not in my mind.

Tomorrow I will bleed three times

into three tubes & a laboratory

will detect all my pieces & antibodies.


Maybe the doctor will burn me,

notate my file.

Open a window in the roof

of my skull

& say, Scalpel.


High-risk sexual activity?

Calculate the rates &

chance of infection.

Palpate the lymph nodes.

Micro-tears & membranes.


She & he have sacramental love:

guarded small sex & space opera. He says

“I don’t think you’ve ever fallen from


I feel lube grease my tongue.


We walked the world as innocents

& why was God not there? God

who in his perversity & God

who never conceived he could be

proven wrong.


Consider taking the iron

bed apart & putting it

back together again.

Consider my dream in which

Ronald Reagan is Daddy.


O Archipelago, in his trunk

I found the bones of Rock Hudson,

old purple Hollywood pal

who wasn’t such good meat at the end,

brittle & burlap, got eaten by HIV.


O Archipelago! Come outside!

The gay panic is here! New scourge

of the cities. Cross out the names.

Washed clean with blood

faster than transmission.


It’s about foreskins, Archipelago. Eyelids.

The eye torn wide & scoured

by all the sand of the desert,

desensitized. Blind to the touch

in the bedroom of Babylon.


Now we wait, Archipelago.

Is this a fever? List of symptoms

of seroconversion?

Which is to say, the brain

does not know the foot is gone.