By Atsuro Riley Atsuro Riley
Split the boy       —his thorax, throat
Pierce-peel the craw:

A jag-crystalled crust      —his black scoria, slag
(not Bulb after Bulb, in Silver rolled)

What no gizzard ground (could hope to grind)
What would not mesh
What would not smelt

Embedded undigested there in meat

Source: Poetry (April 2011).


This poem originally appeared in the April 2011 issue of Poetry magazine

April 2011
 Atsuro  Riley


Atsuro Riley grew up in South Carolina lowcountry and lives in San Francisco. His heavily stressed, percussive, consonant-rich, free-verse poems conjure up the elemental images of the lives of people inhabiting a specific, acutely portrayed landscape. His poems are dense with impressions, voices, and glimpses of people who have experienced the Vietnam War, rural life, and the South. Though grounded in a world that seems . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, Coming of Age, Youth


Poetic Terms Free Verse

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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