Long Pig: a Poem

New Work by Kaveh Akbar

April 19, 2017  By Kaveh Akbar

Long Pig


I came to speak about luck but I fear dismantling what is already
simple so I will say only that if you are fortunate enough to have
a body you shouldn’t leave it lying wet on the floor where anyone
could shred it to bits it is worth treating well   see also the perfect
pine replica of my breastbone which fell off the wall shattering across
the tile   see also the sixteen-celled fetus half-mine lost in the plumbing
of an apartment we lovingly called the Trash Castle   say something or say
nothing the options are always the same and often so are the results


some birds have feathers but can’t fly and even they cherish
their flesh bathing it in sand or snow   every animal longs to be bare
to chew through its fur and melt directly into weather like dry ice there is
a moment of startle when a thing really sees itself for the first time
a shock of hey me it’s me you in this way we are all each others’ mascots
equal and opposite   in my dreams I am a cannibal eating long pig
in a strange unmappable country   it seeps into my living I stay a throb
of hunger and brainstem if you move even a little I will take you in my mouth

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Kaveh Akbar
Kaveh Akbar
Kaveh Akbar is the founder and editor of Divedapper. His poems appear recently in The New Yorker, Poetry, Ploughshares, APR, Tin House, and elsewhere. His debut full-length collection, Calling a Wolf a Wolf, is our now from Alice James Books; he is also the author of the chapbook Portrait of the Alcoholic. The recipient of a Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Fellowship from the Poetry Foundation, a Pushcart Prize, and a Lucille Medwick Memorial Award from the Poetry Society of America, Kaveh was born in Tehran, Iran, and teaches at Purdue University and in the low-residency MFA program at Randolph College.

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