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Olive Children
by Jerry Grandea

I see us as leaves, having eaten leaves,
flying from trees in a rising season,
leaving our antlers barren
and stark like thunderbolts.

I see us as maggots cleaning wounds
of dead tissue, gnawing away at Achileus
until all that remained was human.
We bloom and buzz as a ghost-like presence,
all eyes fixed on private thoughts.

I feel like a duckling fermenting in my shell,
that a Filipino spouse eats before his wedding
night to make him virile.

We are Zeus's estranged olive children.
I am a salmon called back to spawn.

The Earth is not our mirror but our rival
to the ears of a thunderbolt, she growing more
beautiful as we grow older.
We crack her ozone layer,
and water spews where there was no water,
where there was no air, and all the wondrous
works of civilization, those columned buildings,
those stone graven images, crumble in the surf,
our bodies pummeled into lean tough meat.
Yet we go on—the world
doesn't flood but floods the universe.

© Jerry Grandea


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