Cathy Park Hong

1976 / Los Angeles, California, United States

Our Jim

In this world hacked from marrowed dust,
the half-breed assassin slays
men before they breed to corps,
He belts his innard song.

He travels to a sapling town where
sawyers hew logs to songs of plovers,
and mansadors tame broncs of the blackest,
lustiest blood.

Soon the town blooms to terror,
and fades before it booms.
Ghosts weed out of bodies with their sharp
imagined hands.

A hobbled miner, delirious from the sun,
feels the shadow of his innard song,
and croaks: I'm a buck nun
failure anyway.

The half-breed leaves him be,
rides to a town of tents wooled with alfalfa
and glass-needled rain shatters
the dusted tundra.
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