Carol Muske-Dukes

My father first threw me across water,

an infant, pinned to a javelin.  In the warrior

dream of the risen body, heaven is a precinct


of sweetmeats and dancing girls.  My heaven

was constant flight.  He threw me skyward,

so that I would never doubt the will’s fierce transit.


Fate was another kind of fate.  What I took to be

divine momentum—flung from his hand and sped

onward with the hawk’s guidance, turns out to be


merely a weapon’s trajectory.  Pity the weapon,

the missle locked unconsciously on doom—

launched and accelerating to its own destruction


in the name of the cruel illusions:

perfect human aim, god-given prophecy.

Found In Volume 34, No. 04
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Carol Muske-Dukes
About the Author

 Carol Muske-Dukes is author of seven books of poetry, including Sparrow (Random House, 2003).