Of Darker Ceremonies

By Phillip B. Williams b. 1986

After “E. 1999 Eternal” by Bone Thugs-n-Harmony

Dear god of armed robberies and puff-puff-pass,
a chalk outline unpeels from the street, smashes
every windshield, and leaves florid temples of crack
on porches. Burnt-black pleats of   joint-pressed lips
prophesied your return. Please accept these nickel bags
as offerings. Brick bastions of piss-stench thresholds
and boarded windows require a weekly sacrifice.
Is there a Tarot card called “The Corner,” a shrike
shown lifting a corpse from the pike of a middle finger?
Children speak to their murdered brothers with a cereal box
and construction paper cut into a Ouija’s tongue that licks
yes when asked if   liquor could polish a skull in a way
pleasing to the dead, licks no when asked for a name.

Source: Poetry (November 2013).

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

November 2013
 Phillip B. Williams

Biography

Phillip B. Williams was born in Chicago, Illinois. He is the author of the chapbooks Bruised Gospels (Arts in Bloom Inc., 2011) and Burn (YesYes Books, 2013). Williams is a Cave Canem graduate and the poetry editor of the online journal Vinyl Poetry. His poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Callaloo, Kenyon Review Online, The Southern Review, Painted Bride Quarterly, West Branch, Blackbird and others. Williams is currently a . . .

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Poems by Phillip B. Williams

Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, Death, Sorrow & Grieving, Time & Brevity, Youth, Social Commentaries, Cities & Urban Life, War & Conflict

POET’S REGION U.S., Midwestern

Poetic Terms Free Verse

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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