Big Country

By Michael Robbins Michael Robbins
Fiddle no further, Führer. Rome is built.
It took all day. Now let us so
love the world. I’m just thinking out loud.
My stigmata bring out my eyes.

The smallpox uses every part of  the blanket,
and the forest is a lady’s purse.
The Indian is a pink Chihuahua peeking
his head from the designer zipper.

Out here it’s mostly light from the fifteenth
century slamming into the planet.
I can’t see the forest for the burn unit.
All the planet does is bitch bitch bitch.

I know it’s last minute but could you put
out my eyes? At the subatomic level,
helmeted gods help themselves to gold.
Up here? The body’s an isolation ward.

Source: Poetry (April 2013).


This poem originally appeared in the April 2013 issue of Poetry magazine

April 2013
 Michael  Robbins


Michael Robbins is the author of Alien vs. Predator (Penguin, 2012) and The Second Sex (Penguin, 2014). His poems have appeared in the New Yorker, Poetry, Harper's, Boston Review, and elsewhere; his critical work in Harper's, London Review of Books, The New York Observer, the Chicago Tribune, Spin, and several other publications. He is currently at work on a critical book, Equipment for Living (forthcoming from Simon & . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, Health & Illness, The Body

Poetic Terms Free Verse

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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