There! It’s done! I pause, worn down but a victor.
My greatest act, the final cause: a creature
of cumbrous years, hulking big and beefy
in my recall. A brute-child made to be seen.
Stitched joint and limb from soft, pulpy bodies—
High school fail. Old job yawns. New house floods.
No marriage. First marriage. Second marriage.
Piled up bloody on the surgeon’s table.
Now it stirs, tugs at the sheet, ready
to wobble down a calm cul-de-sac;
to mow the lawn, file taxes to the sounds
of Friday night laundry. Ready to live.
I stare in fright. The work of my own hands
comes first for me. But unslaked, it moves on,
seizes my wife, my children, friends, till all
suffocate with comfort and ease.
Kevin Blankinship is a professor of Arabic at Brigham Young University. His poetry is out or will appear in The Ekphrastic Review, Poetica Review, and Lighten Up Online, and his critical essays are published or forthcoming in The Atlantic, The Times Literary Supplement, The Los Angeles Review of Books, The Kenyon Review, The Millions, and elsewhere. He lives in Utah with his wife, their two boys, and a menacing gang of fruit trees.
Artwork: Jonny Ruzzo, “Just Before the War With the Eskimos”