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If skin is a stage’s scrim through which

light passes and drums up

what the eye wants to see, then

the body is a theater

of war—a site of

disagreement between what is

there and what one

perceives is there. There is a town

on TV coming undone

over the body of a boy

believed to be devoid of light. The town

disappears in light after explosion

of light projected through

the television set to my eyes—

refusing to look closer.

If I were to look closer

at the scene, there would only be

a series of red, blue, and green

pixels abutting each other

like the political map

of this city or that village. Inside of the TV,

the protesters are struck by the song

of nightsticks and pepper spray, then they turn

into smoke screens. In that case, then, the body

is a smoke screen for what

I lack the courage to say:

if that boy devoid of light ran toward me

would I have not flinched, in return,

with my body—devoid of light?

from Fantasia for the Man in BlueFind more by Tommye Blount at the library

Copyright © 2020 Tommye Blount
Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, LLC on behalf of Four Way Books.

Published in Poems Tommye Blount

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